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Massachusetts Medical Society




Americans love babies and technology, and most Americans applaud the ability of the new assisted-reproduction techniques to help infertile couples have children. But these techniques have also given birth to a wide variety of new legal issues, including questions about the identity of the mother and father of the child, the enforcement of preconception contracts, the elements of informed consent, and the disposition of frozen embryos. After almost 20 years of experience and the growth of infertility clinics into a multibillion-dollar industry, it is time to consider establishing national standards and a federal regulatory scheme. Two recent court cases, one in California and the other in New York, and the report of the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law suggest that existing practices are inadequate to protect the interests of clinic patients and their children.


From The New England Journal of Medicine, George J. Annas, The Shadowlands: Secrets, Lies, and Assisted Reproduction, Volume 339, Page 935 Copyright ©(1998) Massachusetts Medical Society. Reprinted with permission.

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