Encyclopedia of Reproductive Technologies

By Annette Burfoot | Go to book overview

fifty-eight
Legislation--Canada

ANNETTE BURFOOT
(WITH ADVICE FROM HEALTH CANADA)

In an effort to respond to scientific advances in reproductive and genetic technologies and to the profound social, ethical, legal, and health questions they raise, the Canadian government established the Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies in 1989. The commission submitted a comprehensive report, Proceed with Care, in 1993 that outlined 293 far-reaching recommendations for legislation. These recommendations are divided into three broad areas of concern: the need to prohibit problematic reproductive and genetic technology practices, the need to regulate and manage these technologies at a national level, and the need to focus on infertility prevention as a health issue.

In July 1995, the Canadian government called for a voluntary moratorium on nine new reproductive technologies (NRTS) that caused serious social and ethical concerns. This moratorium included a request to medical and research communities to refrain from using sex selection for non- medical purposes, commercial preconception or surrogacy arrangements, ectogenesis, and the cloning of human embryos. The moratorium was designed as an interim measure until legislation was put in place. The Advisory Committee on the Interim Moratorium on Reproductive Technologies was established by the Canadian government in January 1996. This committee, currently called the Advisory Committee on New Reproductive and Genetic Technologies, continues to provide feedback to the government on managing the technologies.

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