Italy Enacts New Law on Medically Assisted Reproduction

Document Type



Published by Oxford University Press in Human Reproduction, volume 20 issue 5, 2005. Bryant users may access this article here.


cryopreservation; embryos; fertilization; medically assisted reproduction; preimplantation testing


Oxford University Press

Publication Source

Human Reproduction


In 2004, the Italian Parliament enacted a law regulating medically assisted reproduction. Although the law recognizes as legal certain assisted reproduction techniques, several other procedures are implicitly or expressly banned: oocyte and sperm donation, using embryos for the scientific research purposes and reproductive cloning. In this article, I outline the new legal framework, pointing out some of the shortcomings of its provisions, such as the failure to define what an ‘embryo’ is, the contradictions between this law and the law on abortion, the opportunity for Italian couples to circumvent some of the prohibitions by resorting to ‘reproductive tourism’, and the central role that physicians play in the new legal framework.