The Federal Government's Response

AuthorMaureen McTeer
[  ]
– chapter four –
The Federal Government’s
e path that led to legislation on reproductive technologies and embryo
research in Canada was a long and tortuous one. e Baird Commission
submitted its nal report in November , which included a list of rec-
ommended prohibitions. In July , the then federal minister of health
introduced a voluntary moratorium on nine controversial reproductive
technologies and practices and on certain types of research involving
human embryos. is included research that involved ectogenesis (the
maturation of an embryo outside a woman’s womb); cloning human
beings by any means, including somatic cell nuclear transfer (the tech-
nology that gave us Dolly the ewe in Scotland); the formation of ani-
mal-human hybrids; and the transfer of embryos between humans and
other species. e other practices prohibited by the federal government’s
voluntary ban were commercial preconception or “surrogacy” contracts;
the buying and selling of eggs, sperm, and embryos; egg donation in
exchange forIVF services; germline genome editing (genetic alteration
that can be passed to subsequent generations); sex selection for non-med-
ical purposes; and the retrieval of eggs from cadavers and fetuses for dona-
tion, fertilization, or research. is action was to be the rst step in the
government’s plans to draft a federal law to address the many issues raised
by the commission’s mandate and its nal report. During this period,

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