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Human Rights to In Vitro Fertilization

International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 123 (2013) 86–89

4 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2013  

Fernando Zegers-Hochschild

Program of Ethics and Public Policies in Human Reproduction, University of Diego Portales, Santiago, Chile

Bernard Dickens

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Sandra Dughman-Manzur

International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto

Date Written: October 1, 2013

Abstract

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (the Court) has ruled that the Supreme Court of Costa Rica’s judgment in 2000 prohibiting in vitro fertilization (IVF) violated the human right to private and family life, the human right to found and raise a family, and the human right to non-discrimination on grounds of disability, financial means, or gender. The Court’s conclusions of violations contrary to the American Convention on Human Rights followed from its ruling that, under the Convention, in vitro embryos are not "persons" and do not possess a right to life. Accordingly, the prohibition of IVF to protect embryos constituted a disproportionate and unjustifiable denial of infertile individuals’ human rights. The Court distinguished fertilization from conception, since conception — unlike fertilization — depends on an embryo’s implantation in a woman’s body. Under human rights law, legal protection of an embryo "from conception" is inapplicable between its creation by fertilization and completion of its implantation in utero.

Keywords: Conception, Costa Rica, In vitro fertilization, Infertility, human rights, Inter-American Court of Human Rights, fertilization

JEL Classification: K10, J13, I18

Suggested Citation

Zegers-Hochschild, Fernando and Dickens, Bernard and Dughman-Manzur, Sandra, Human Rights to In Vitro Fertilization (October 1, 2013). International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 123 (2013) 86–89. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2327577

Fernando Zegers-Hochschild

Program of Ethics and Public Policies in Human Reproduction, University of Diego Portales, Santiago, Chile ( email )

Manuel Rodríguez Sur 415
Santiago
Chile

Bernard Dickens (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-4849 (Phone)
416-978-7899 (Fax)

Sandra Dughman-Manzur

International Reproductive and Sexual Health Law Program, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada

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