The Myth of Regulation: A critique of the 2008 Draft ART (Regulation) Bill and Rules

Medico Friend Circle Bulletin: 335-336 | 2009, June-September

Assisted Reproductive Technologies or ARTs are a group of technologies, which assist in conception and pregnancy. They encompass various procedures ranging from the relatively simple Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI) to other variants of In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF), more commonly known as “testtube baby technology”. Surrogacy, which is not a technique, but an arrangement, is also included under the umbrella term of ARTs.

In India, there has been an unprecedented and unregulated growth of ART clinics providing IVF procedures over the years. Within the framework of medical tourism, ARTs are the latest addition to the long list of medical services being offered. Low costs, easy access to the otherwise highly regulated technologies and easy availability of surrogate mothers and gamete donors have made India a favored destination for these procedures. The resulting surge of the ART ‘industry’ in the country has posed a number of ethical, legal and social dilemmas, including amongst other things the increasing commodification and commercialization of women’s reproductive tissues.

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