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J Med Ethics 39:250-252 doi:10.1136/medethics-2011-100358
  • Brief report

Is age the limit for human-assisted reproduction techniques? ‘Yes’, said an Italian judge

  1. Paola Frati1
  1. 1Department of Anatomical, Histological, Forensic and Orthopaedic Sciences, University of Rome Sapienza, Rome, Lazio, Italy
  2. 2Praxi Pro Vita, Roma, Lazio, Italy
  3. 3Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Matteo Gulino, Department of Anatomical, Histological, Forensic and Orthopaedic Sciences, University of Rome Sapienza, 336 Viale Regina Elena, Rome, Lazio 00161, Italy; matteo_gulino{at}libero.it
  • Received 3 November 2011
  • Revised 21 May 2012
  • Accepted 31 October 2012
  • Published Online First 26 November 2012

Abstract

Although use of assisted reproduction techniques was examined by an ad hoc act in 2004 in Italy, there are many opposing views about ethical and economic implications of the technologies dealing with infertility and sterility problems. In this paper, the authors examine a recent judge's decision that ordered the removal and subsequent adoption of a 1-year-old child because her parents were considered too old to be parents. The couple had had recourse to heterologous artificial insemination abroad and decided to give birth in Italy. The judgement deals with and discusses the complex issue of the right to procreate in order to balance the opportunities offered by scientific progress with the unborn child's condition.

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