卵子提供の仲介 子供を守る法整備に踏み出せ

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 16, 2013
Legal framework needed to protect children born from donated ova
卵子提供の仲介 子供を守る法整備に踏み出せ(5月15日付・読売社説)

The number of children born to women who have undergone reproductive treatment is on the rise. The government should begin creating a legal framework to protect such children.

Three women, suffering from infertility due to congenital or other conditions, will receive ova from third-party donors. This will be the first time women will receive ova from third-party donors through an intermediate organization.

When a nonprofit organization, mainly comprising infertile patients and their families and doctors, asked for ova donations, more than 40 people responded, according to the NPO.

At a press conference this week, the NPO read a message of gratitude from a prospective recipient, and quoted an egg donor as saying, “I’m happy to help someone who’s suffering.”

We can understand the feelings of people who want to help women wishing to have children.

Don’t ignore problems

However, a number of potential problems arising from infertility treatment must not be overlooked. First, births from donated ova are expected to complicate family relationships. A child born via reproductive treatment will have two mothers–the mother who gives birth and the “genetic mother” who donates the ova.

Although the Supreme Court has previously ruled that a woman who gives birth is the child’s mother, there is no relevant law. To prevent friction over inheritance and other family issues, legal arrangements must be made to clarify parental relationships for children born after reproductive treatment.

Ensuring children’s right to learn about their birth also is an important issue that must be addressed.

The NPO has drawn up a set of rules that call for donors’ addresses, names and other personal data to be disclosed if the children of recipients request such information when they turn 15. We believe a system should be created to have a public body strictly manage such personal information over the long term.

From an ethical standpoint, regulations on the egg donation business are also needed.

Following the NPO’s announcement of the ova donations, Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Norihisa Tamura said: “We’ll take our time to consider this issue. We haven’t reached the point of setting up a study panel as there are so many opinions to consider.”

Government slow to act

This position would allow reproductive treatment using donated ova to spread without a legal framework.

In 1998, a doctor in Nagano Prefecture conducted the nation’s first in vitro fertilization using donated ova. In 2003, a health ministry council compiled a report that gave the green light to egg donations.

However, in the 10 years since then, a legal framework for ova donations has yet to be created.

In the meantime, more than 80 children have been born through in vitro fertilization using ova donated from recipients’ families and friends. A growing number of couples also received ova overseas.

Without any regulations, children born with donated ova may face obstacles when they grow up. The government must act quickly to make the necessary legal arrangements.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 15, 2013)
(2013年5月15日01時35分 読売新聞)


srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク



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