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Law and MedicineCurrent Legal Issues Volume 3$
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Michael Freeman and Andrew Lewis

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198299189

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198299189.001.0001

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Consent and Intent: The Legal Differences in Assisted Reproductive Treatments

Consent and Intent: The Legal Differences in Assisted Reproductive Treatments

(p.317) Consent and Intent: The Legal Differences in Assisted Reproductive Treatments
Law and Medicine

F. Shenfield

Oxford University Press

In assisted reproduction treatments, consent in writing concerning licensed treatments, i.e. the techniques covered by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, is mandatory. This involves gametes donation, either of sperm or oocyte (and hence embryo) donation and in vitro fertilization (IVF). By contrast treatment with thawed cryo-preserved sperm is not covered by the Act unless it is also used in vitro, whilst the storing of the sperm in licensed units categorically is. Infertility specialists practise in one of the few fields where specific legislation has been deemed to be necessary by society, through a vote in Parliament and the enactment of legislation, binding patients and practitioners in a common endeavour. Not all assisted treatment for reproduction is covered by the Act if one takes the word ‘assistance’ in the largest sense, although the term has come specifically to indicate treatments which are indeed licensed.

Keywords:   assisted reproduction, consent, infertility, gametes donation, IVF, cryo-preserved sperm

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