chapter  7
16 Pages

Human reproduction

ByVictoria Tippett

This chapter describes the legal status of the embryo and fetus and the legal relationship between mother and fetus. It provides information on prenatal screening, claims of 'wrongful life', and assisted conception. The chapter also provides information on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, the Abortion Act 1967, and sterilisation. The Abortion Act and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act afforded women greater control over their reproductive potential than had ever previously been the case. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority guidelines are extensive, but those referring to the selection of couples suitable to enter treatment programmes, selection of donors and the welfare of the child resulting from the fertility treatment are relevant. It may be either partial surrogacy, where the surrogate's ovum is combined with donor sperm via intrauterine insemination, or complete surrogacy, where an already fertilised embryo is implanted into the surrogate's womb.