Ethical Considerations on emerging developments in reproductive medicine

Christoph Rehmann-Sutter, Matthias Wienroth

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Reproduction and the family are central elements in the lives of people, and in the narratives and practices of diverse cultures and societies. In the development of ever more powerful techniques of assisted reproduction a number of questions have emerged. They lie at the heart of what it means to reproduce, to be a parent, to be a human being. Reproductive technologies and their consideration influence perceptions and practices in regard to reproduction and beyond, thus embodying anthropological implications for the understanding of family, motherhood, health, offspring, responsibility and others. Technological capabilities and socio-cultural perceptions are strongly intertwined. The role of bioethics in this context is to explore human nascency as a process. To better understand this process and its implications for human life both medical and social, we suggest considering different perspectives on reproductive technologies to widen our understanding. These perspectives range from the potential child and its parents to health care professionals and the state. In expanding our perception of reproduction, social scientific methods can help to situate philosophical and ethical issues, thus rendering bioethical examination of reproductive technologies more socially robust. In this paper, we provide an overview of several bioethical key themes in assisted reproduction: methodological questions in regard to providing better understanding of this field, selective and inclusive social aspects of assisted reproduction, financial and governance considerations, and an applied consideration of the IVF research interface.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)807-811
JournalTherapeutische Umschau
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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