Regulating IVF and pre-implantation tissue-typing for the creation of "saviour siblings" : a harm analysis

Smith, Malcolm (2010) Regulating IVF and pre-implantation tissue-typing for the creation of "saviour siblings" : a harm analysis. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Scientific discoveries, developments in medicine and health issues are the constant focus of media attention and the principles surrounding the creation of so called ‘saviour siblings’ are of no exception. The development in the field of reproductive techniques has provided the ability to genetically analyse embryos created in the laboratory to enable parents to implant selected embryos to create a tissue-matched child who may be able to cure an existing sick child. The research undertaken in this thesis examines the regulatory frameworks overseeing the delivery of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) in Australia and the United Kingdom and considers how those frameworks impact on the accessibility of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) procedures for the creation of ‘saviour siblings’. In some jurisdictions, the accessibility of such techniques is limited by statutory requirements. The limitations and restrictions imposed by the state in relation to the technology are analysed in order to establish whether such restrictions are justified. The analysis is conducted on the basis of a harm framework. The framework seeks to establish whether those affected by the use of the technology (including the child who will be created) are harmed. In order to undertake such evaluation, the concept of harm is considered under the scope of John Stuart Mill’s liberal theory and the Harm Principle is used as a normative tool to judge whether the level of harm that may result, justifies state intervention or restriction with the reproductive decision-making of parents in this context. The harm analysis conducted in this thesis seeks to determine an appropriate regulatory response in relation to the use of pre-implantation tissue-typing for the creation of ‘saviour siblings’. The proposals outlined in the last part of this thesis seek to address the concern that harm may result from the practice of pre-implantation tissue-typing. The current regulatory frameworks in place are also analysed on the basis of the harm framework established in this thesis. The material referred to in this thesis reflects the law and policy in place in Australia and the UK at the time the thesis was submitted for examination (December 2009).

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ID Code: 35798
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Willmott, Lindy & White, Benjamin
Keywords: human reproductive technology Moral and ethical aspects, genetic engineering Moral and ethical aspects, preimplantation genetic diagnosis Moral and ethical aspects, human reproductive technology Law and legislation Australia, human reproduction Government policy Australia, human reproductive technology Law and legislation Great Britain, human reproduction Government policy Great Britain, assisted reproductive technology (ART), assisted reproduction, in vitro fertilization, saviour sibling, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), pre-implantation tissue-typing, embryo selection, harm principle, John Stuart Mill, on liberty
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Health Law Research
Current > Schools > School of Law
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 22 Sep 2010 13:03
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2015 14:01

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