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Hum Fertil (Camb). 1999;2(1):18-21. doi: 10.1080/1464727992000198261.

Restoring natural function: access to infertility treatment using donated gametes.

Human fertility (Cambridge, England)

Rebecca Bennett, John Harris


  1. The Centre for Social Ethics and Policy, Institute of Medicine, Law and Bioethics, University of Manchester, Humanities Building, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK.

PMID: 11844321 DOI: 10.1080/1464727992000198261


Fertility services are the only area of medicine in which health professionals are required by law to make social judgements about a person's suitability for treatment. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act of 1990 imposes restrictions on access to licensed fertility treatment based on social judgements about the probable welfare of any resulting child. In this paper, it is argued that just as social judgements are inappropriate in other contexts, so they are in the context of fertility treatment. Furthermore, the ambiguous requirement for concern for the welfare of the resulting child simply does not provide a just and ethically defensible solution to the problem of access to licensed fertility treatment. born as a result of the treatment (including the need of that child for a father) and of any other child who may be affected by the birth treatment.

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