Reproductive medicine: Scientific technical developments, consequences and gener
In progress from 20-09-2009 to 20-09-2010
Project manager: Dr. Christoph Revermann
Expert-based, Health, Medical technology
Since the birth of the first "test-tube baby" in 1978, there have been significant developments in reproductive medicine (also called assisted reproduction). To-day, the term also covers extracorporeal fertilisation with subsequent embryo transfer (in vitro fertilisation, IVF), intracytoplasmic injection of sperm into the ovum (ICSI) with subsequent embryo transfer, cryopreservation of germ cells, impregnated ova and embryos, and the later use of these in assisted reproduc-tion. Whereas the original target of reproductive medicine was female infertility that was organic in origin, specific techniques have now been and will be devel-oped which will substantially broaden the scope of these interventions. In addi-tion, reproductive medicine is closely tied to the isolation of and research on human embryonic stem cells and to therapeutic and reproductive cloning – areas which build upon techniques from reproductive medicine.
The purpose of this TAB project is to provide an overview of the current status and perspectives of assisted reproductive medicine and to study the international experience regarding the consequences of reproductive medicine and the respec-tive national circumstances of its use. Aspects of pre-implantation diagnosis are included to the extent as it or pre-implantation screening is employed to increase the success rates of technically assisted reproduction. These analyses should pro-vide guidance of whether and how the legal framework in Germany as well as the general conditions for its application can be further developed.