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Centre for Law, Medicine and Life Sciences

Faculty of Law


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The 1st Ver Heyden de Lancey Conference titled 'Freedom and Responsiblity in Reproductive Choice' was held at the Faculty on 2-3 July 2004.  The keynote speaker was Baroness Mary Warnock.  The complete program is available here.

Papers from the conference were published in a book of the same name by Hart Publishing, Oxford, which can be purchased from Heffers.  

From the publisher:  

"What responsibilities, if any, do we have towards our genetic offspring, before or after birth and perhaps even before creation, merely by virtue of the genetic link? What claims, if any, arise from the mere genetic parental relation? Should society through its legal arrangements allow 'fatherless' or 'motherless' children to be born, as the current law on medically assisted reproduction involving gamete donation in some legal systems does? Does the possibility of establishing genetic parentage with practical certainty necessitate reform of current legal regimes of parenthood? And what limits, if any, should we set on parental procreative choices in the interests of future children, particularly with regard to genetic engineering and related techniques? These are the questions explored in this book by some of the foremost legal, bioethical and biomedical thinkers. Assembled with a view to assisting the reader to reflect critically on the ongoing social experiment which medically assisted reproduction is today, the essays in this collection highlight what are - and what else might in the nearby future become - possible reproductive options and respond to the difficulties we encounter in assessing these practices and possibilities from our traditional ethical vantage points."

For reviews of this widely-acclaimed book, see Emily Jackson, 12 European Human Rights Law Review 203-205 (2007); Julie McCandless 15 Feminist Legal Studies 367 (2007); Sarah Elliston, 8 Medical Law International 193 (2007)Emily Jackson, 123 Law Quarterly Review 322-325 (2007);  Ilke Ozdemir, 17 Social & Legal Studies 409-410 (2008).  

From the reviews:

"... a useful resource for academics, practitioners and policy makers alike, as well as the interested general public ... an excellent teaching resource ... the collections do a wonderful job of encouraging readers to think critically about regulatory issues around human reproductive science." 

Julie McCandless 15 Feminist Legal Studies 367 (2007).

"... this is an engaging and thought-provoking collection . . . the editors and contributors should be congratulated for producing a valuable addition to the burgeoning literature on reproductive choice and responsibility."

Emily Jackson, 123 Law Quarterly Review 322-325 (2007).

"Together, all [the] chapters create a rich source for anyone interested in how medically assisted conception has perhaps changed our way(s) of thinking about 'family', and what issues new policy should be seeking to address." 

Julie McCandless 15 Feminist Legal Studies 367 (2007). 

"... an important and stimulating book, particularly for those who have an interest in socio-legal studies. Expanding the discussion well beyond procreative autonomy and liberty rights, these highly informative essays address the changing social conceptions and legal regulation of family-making, as well as reproductive autonomy and parenthood." 

Ilke Ozdemir, 17 Social & Legal Studies 409-410 (2008). 

"... anyone with an interest in human rights, reproduction and family life will find some rich and informative chapters in this collection." 

Emily Jackson, 12 European Human Rights Law Review 203-205 (2007).