Ethics. Research. Community.

Medically-assisted procreation in Italy.

Medicine and law. 
[Record Source: PubMed]
In February 2004, a law was approved in Italy on medically assisted procreation. The authors attempt to discuss the main provisions of the law. In its 18 articles, the law provides access to approved assisted procreation methods for adult couples of different sex, either married or cohabiting, of a potentially fertile age, both living, and establishes that the couple must be offered the chance of reverting to adoption or foster care procedures pursuant to the law in force. The law contains numerous prohibitions and restrictions: heterologous insemination, cloning, the cryo-preservation of embryos and research on human embryos are forbidden; during an assisted reproduction cycle, the methods used must not produce a number of embryos greater than those strictly necessary for a single and simultaneous implant, and in any case never more than three. The law calls for the woman and her husband or partner to be properly informed and for their approval to be given in writing. Fairly severe sanctions have been established for persons who break the law; health workers are however entitled to object on conscientious grounds to performing certain procedures.
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