Assisted reproductive technologies and human rights

Kathrine Galloway

Research output: Contribution to journalOnline ResourceProfessional


[Extract] Assisted reproductive technologies (ART) have challenged our thinking around what it means to be human. Associated with this is the dignity and humanity in a decision to become a parent, and how our genetic material is to be used. On the one hand we might claim a "reproductive right" as an expression of our personal autonomy and control over our bodies. On the other hand, we may call for reproductive justice – an idea that seeks to balance a complex matrix of competing claims for dignity of personhood. These claims may involve men and women as donors of gametes, women who carry a child to term, and the child themselves.

ART is regulated by legislation in every Australian state, and under Commonwealth law and policy. While a willing donation of sperm or ova to conceive a child may seem to promote personal autonomy, there are many ways in which human dignity can potentially be compromised through use of ART. This starts with how we understand control or "ownership" of gametes themselves, through to our right to be a parent, or to contribute to reproduction when we ourselves do not wish to be a parent.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRight Now: Human Rights in Australia
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes


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