This Concerted Action, of three years duration, will examine developments and potential developments in reproductive medicine. It will offer a comparative analysis of legislation analysis of legislation currently in force in member states to examine how far such legislation is compatible with reproductive choice. It will explore the limitations of choice. In doing so the tensions between the putative rights of women and men will be explored. The role of the state will be investigated and the interests of the unseen third parties, the children to be or not to be born, will be considered.
Medically assisted procreation continues to be simultaneously at the cutting edge of technological advance in biomedical science and one of the most controversial and divisive issues of recent times. New technologies combine to offer hope for patients and apprehension for the public in equal measure. Pressures to meet the needs of patients and to answer the 'scientific imperative' are constantly at the odds with the need to assuage public fears and an appropriate caution at government and administrative level. The object of this proposal is to survey and analyse the full range of reproductive technologies, assess the ethical dilemmas they pose and to understand and place in the context of ethical, cultural, religious and national diversity, the range of fears they engender and problems they pose.
If the European Union is to respect both a right to reproduce and reproductive choice, fundamental work in bioethics and law needs to be done to explore gender, reproductive choice and control of fertility. Analysis of the concept of reproductive choice is required to determine whether the autonomous choice of individual men and women can truly operate as the fundamental principle upon which to rest the policy of the European Union, and the legislation of national states. The differing religious and cultural traditions of Europe may prevent any consensus on such issues and force an acceptance of diversity.