Reproductive Technologies, Overview

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Reproductive technologies (RTs) have given urgency to some perennial questions: the reasons for wanting children, the implications of infertility, what it means to be a parent, and the strength of the genetic bond between people. In 1978, scientific developments in embryology and embryo transfer culminated in the birth of the world's first baby born as a result of . in vitro fertilization (IVF) in Britain. This event prompted extensive ethical debate over the acceptability of RTs, with opinions ranging from whole-hearted support to condemnation. The issues raised can be divided into two categories: arguments for and against the use and development of RTs and the ethical dilemmas created by specific aspects of RTs. This article largely focuses on the Anglo-American debate over RTs, recognizing that the debate has taken different forms in other countries.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Applied Ethics
PublisherElsevier BV
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9780123739322
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Access to treatment
  • Desire for a child
  • Donation of gametes
  • Donor anonymity
  • Embryos
  • Feminist positions
  • In vitro fertilization
  • Infertility
  • Reproductive autonomy
  • Reproductive rights
  • Reproductive technologies
  • Welfare of the child


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