Commerce and Regulation in the Assisted Reproduction Industry
39 Pages Posted: 8 May 2007
With assisted reproduction and its many variations now firmly assimilated into medical and social practice, criticisms of that industry as unduly commercial and lacking regulation are rife. Harvard Business School Professor Debora Spar's The Baby Business (2006) takes such an approach. This essay shows that without a more focused assessment of the demand, supply, and competition factors comprising the "market for babies," such criticisms are insufficiently anchored to support sound policy initiatives. It discusses six areas of current controversy - legal infrastructure, the high rate of twinning, payment for gametes and gestation, genetic screening and selection of embryos, culture of life constraints, and centralized regulation - to show that the business and commercial side of assisted reproduction should not be of primary policy concern in resolving the many local issues that the field presents.
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