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The Regulation of Medically Assisted Procreation in Europe and Related Nations and the Influence of National Identity, Social Cultural, and Demographic Differences

Description: This study details the Medically Assisted Procreation regulations in thirty-five nation-states, and explores the influence of national identity, social cultural and demographic differences on these regulations. Detailed data were gathered from ministries of health, offices of prime ministers, embassy staff, and others on regulations for each nation. These data were used to categorize the nations in regard to MAP legislation status and regulatory policy regarding marital or age restrictions; posthumous conception; sperm, ovum, or embryo donation, surrogacy; and policy on handling donors. Possible associations between national identity, social cultural, and demographic data for each nation and their regulations were explained. The thirty-five nations were treated as a population with common geographical and political ties. PRE methods, and eta coefficients were used to assess the associations. Sixteen nations have adopted MAP legislation, eight nations have either alternative regulatory guidelines or partial structures, four nations have legislation pending and possibly some laws, and seven nations are unregulated. Based upon statistical analysis, language group emerges as an important indicator for differences in MAP regulations. For example knowing a nation's language group enabled percent improved prediction of that nation's regulatory handling of embryo donation. The percent GDP spent on health care was found to have a substantial or moderate association with most regulations. The findings of this study indicate that the cultural roots associated with national identity as well as economic circumstances such as health care budgets impact the policy making process responsible for the regulation of MAP in Europe. Among other mediating circumstances, MAP related family law cases brought to the European Court of Human Rights create an accumulation of judge-made law, which help create a common European standard. This study of the European region provides a baseline for further research and a reference for cross cultural comparisons.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Wunderlin, Beverly J.