UNESCO Chair in Bioethics

Information and inscription

  • Bioethics and Law Observatory
  • UNESCO Chair in Bioethics
  • University of Barcelona
  • Ave. Diagonal 684,
    Faculty of Law
  • 08034 Barcelona
  • Tel. (+34) 93 403 45 46
  • obd.ub@ub.edu

OBD documents on assisted reproduction have had a decisive effect on current legislation - COMUNICACIONS UB

06.03.2008

OBD documents on assisted reproduction have had a decisive effect on current legislation

Barcelona Scientific Park - 06/03/2008

The University of Barcelona’s Bioethics and Law Observatory (OBD), which is located within the Barcelona Science Park (PCB), has reissued and complied in book form the various documents on assisted reproduction that the OBD Opinion Group has produced since the year 2000. This has provided a good opportunity to analyse the repercussions which these documents have had in the scientific and medical field, and especially their impact on current legislation, which proves to be highly significant. All the documents can be consulted online and downloaded in PDF format in Catalan, Spanish and English.

The utility of these documents and their influence on legislative changes can be clearly seen in the two new laws that have recently been passed in the context of assisted reproduction (Law 14/2006, of 26 May, on Assisted Reproduction Techniques, and Law 14/2007, of 3 July, on Biomedical Research), both of which have taken on board many of the recommendations put forward by the OBD.

The book contains a total of five documents covering the following topics: embryo research, obtaining embryonic stem cells, oocyte donation, the freezing of oocyte for human reproduction, and sex selection. Special mention should be made of the legislative impact of the document on oocyte donation, whose proposals have been taken up almost word for word by the new legislation.

As the director of the OBD, María Casado, explains: “The fact that the work and views of a group of scientists and academics has proven so important in modifying legislation is of enormous significance as it illustrates how technical regulations are closely interwoven with legislative ones, and it also offers recognition of the role of scientific and technical organisations, both formal and informal, in drawing up legislation”.

The aim of the documents produced by the Opinion Group of the OBD is to analyse, from a scientific and pluridisciplinary point of view, the ethical, social and legal implications of biotechnology and biomedicine with respect to issues such as dignity and human rights, which by their very nature are the subject of debate in society; the idea is that these analyses serve to stimulate discussion and guide debate toward the proposal of specific action. Since it was set up in 1996 the Group has produced various documents on contemporary issues about which no unanimous opinion had been reached, whether among the scientific community or in society at large; all of these documents have had notable scientific, social and legislative repercussions.