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01.12.2017 | Commentary | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Israel Journal of Health Policy Research 1/2017

The right to know one’s genetic origins and cross-border medically assisted reproduction

Israel Journal of Health Policy Research > Ausgabe 1/2017
Vardit Ravitsky


The use of donor sperm or egg for reproduction raises the issue of the right of donor-conceived individuals to know their genetic origins. This paper argues in favor of acknowledging such a right and explores the challenges that cross-border medically assisted reproduction would raise in relation to it. It first explores possible justifications for such a right by discerning its possible conceptual and empirical groundings. It describes some key ethical and policy implications of the removal of donor anonymity. It then argues that novel technologies such as mitochondrial replacement and gene editing raise new concerns in this area and may expand the scope of such a right. Finally, it argues that while many barriers to accessing information about genetic origins already exist at national levels, cross-border medically assisted reproduction may exacerbate a reality in which many individuals conceived through third-party participation are deprived of information that may be crucial to their future well-being for medical or psycho-social reasons.
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