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The regulation of assisted reproductive technology
  1. E Jackson

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    Edited by J Gunning, H Szoke. Ashgate, 2003, pp 271. ISBN 0754622924.

    This book brings together papers given at a symposium which took place in Melbourne, Australia in 2001. Like any such collection, the chapters vary in quality and in substance. Some authors have chosen to analyse one issue in considerable depth, while others attempt a broad overview of regulations in different regions of the world. Julian Savulescu, for example, confines himself to the complex question of whether gamete providers’ freedom to dispose of their unwanted embryos should take priority over infertile couples’ interests in using these surplus embryos in treatment. In contrast, Jothi Kumar surveys the regulation of assisted reproductive technology throughout Asia in a mere four pages of text. In general, contributions of the first type tend to be more successful; attempts to summarise something as complex as the regulation of assisted reproductive technology across a whole continent can be difficult for the reader to digest, and inevitably offer little by way of analysis.

    A further problem bedevils any new publication in this fast moving area of medical law and ethics. Although providing a “snapshot” of regulation in 2001 is undoubtedly an interesting and worthwhile project, a book such as this risks being out of date before it is even published. As a result, the more discursive chapters which concentrate on especially novel or controversial ethical dilemmas are likely to be of use and interest for longer than those which describe the regulatory status quo. Certainly, Savulescu’s chapter on the public interest in embryos, and Giuliana Fuscaldo’s contribution on …

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