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Law and BioethicsCurrent Legal Issues Volume 11$
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Michael Freeman

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199545520

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199545520.001.0001

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Cultures of Life: Embryo Protection and the Pluralist State

Cultures of Life: Embryo Protection and the Pluralist State

(p.177) 10 Cultures of Life: Embryo Protection and the Pluralist State
Law and Bioethics

Patrick Hanafin

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the Italian experience in relation to the governance of human reproduction. Successive Italian governments have tended to avoid addressing issues of bioethical controversy in an objective and honest manner due to a fear of a conservative backlash and a subsequent loss of political support. This sums up the manner in which bioethical issues have been dealt with, or rather not dealt with in Italy over the past twenty years. Instead of attempting to gain community consensus on an issue and working towards a solution which expresses the values of all sectors of society, governments have tended to see such matters in very simplistic terms: either they are morally supportable or morally suspect. In all this the pluralist state's moral guide has been the Vatican.

Keywords:   bioethics, human reproduction, Italy, law, Catholic Church, pluralism, Vatican

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