By: Josephine Quintavalle

Just when you think the ethical issues associated with assisted reproduction could not possibly get worse – especially in the United Kingdom where some like to think we lead the world in everything good thanks to our Human Fertilisation & Embryology Act and the quango which implements it, the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (HFEA) – we find splashed across the UK press the following real life story:

A single man in his 20s who lives alone has exercised his so-called reproductive right to create a baby using his own sperm, the eggs of a possibly unsuspecting donor, the services of a willing IVF clinic, and the womb of his own mother.

He has won the right to adopt the child who under current law, having been born to his mother, is therefore legally his brother.

I once came across the phrase ‘genealogical bewilderment’.  The unfortunate little boy born from this apparently perfectly lawful combination of circumstances might well suffer from such an unfortunate condition when he grows up and tries to unravel how he came into the world.

And this hard on the tail of both our Houses of Parliament approving germline genetic modification of the in vitro human embryo…

We might as well tear up the HFE Act and disband the HFEA.  It is clear that in the United Kingdom reproductive rights know no bounds.


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