Luísa Neto, Rute Teixeira Pedro (coords.)
Proceedings of the International Seminar (Porto, March 16 and 17, 2017)
The International Seminar Discussing Medically Assisted Procreation took place on March 16/17, 2017 at the Faculty of Law of the University of Porto, a meeting organised by the Medically Assisted Procreation project of the New Rights CIJ-FDUP Research Line.
The Seminar took place within the scope of the aforementioned project, financed by FCT (Project FCT UID 443_CIJ), which intended to discuss the implications of the reform of the legal regime, in Portugal, to Medically Assisted Procreation (PMA) – Law no. 32/2006 (July 26) –, and the changes it suffered in 2016 and which made this discussion (even more) relevant.
In fact, the possibility of resorting to therapeutic methods for the completion of a parental project, challenging several normative orders, namely the moral one, poses difficult questions. According to article 67, number 2, paragraph e) of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, since 1997, about the regulation of assisted procreation by the State, “in such a way as to safeguard the dignity of the human person”, the aforementioned 2006 law gave solutions for several issues that needed a legal answer. On the other hand, the aforementioned 2016 changes have perhaps led to an objective re-foundation - although, of course, subject to criticism, e.g. scientific - of the normative segments under consideration.
Thus, taking advantage of the modification context of constituted law, the challenge was taken to reflect on several issues related to the use of medically assisted procreation techniques, considering in particular the Constitutional Law and Family and Succession Law fields, with attention to the impositions of Public International Law and to the reflexes in Private International Law.
Considering the necessary legal protection of the various legally protected assets and values that, in this matter, are in conflict, several subjects were critically approached, namely, among others, the principle of prohibiting discrimination against people generated from these techniques , the anonymity and confidentiality in heterologous procreation, the right to knowledge of genetic origins of each person, the legal status of embryos, the interaction between the principle of subsidiarity and the principle of alternation in the use of PMA, the access conditions to these techniques and the circle of people covered by them, the repercussions regarding the definition of the legal perimeter of “family”, the implications for the establishment of legal bonds of paternity and maternity and the impact that can be produced in the succession phenomenon .
The Seminar gave another perspective to the previously established discussion network between academics with various affiliations (Portuguese and foreign) – Faculty of Law of the University of Porto, Faculty of Law of the University of Coimbra, Nova School of Law, School of Law of the University of Minho, Centre for Judicial Studies, University of Valladolid, University of Zurich, University of São Paulo, University of Macau, University of Salerno and Mackenzie Presbyterian University – which have dedicated themselves to the debate on legal and bioethical framework within the scope of the aforementioned research project. This publication is the first step for this path, gathering the doctrinal works that aim to allow the dissemination of this knowledge.
Luísa Neto, FDUP and CIJ
Rute Teixeira Pedro, FDUP and CIJ