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Implications of Recent Developments in Ireland for the Status of the Embryo


One of the most significant developments in the area of reproductive health in Ireland is the Roche v. Roche [2009] case. The case concerned a woman who wished to implant cryopreserved embryos made with a former partner, against the partner’s wishes. Of particular interest are questions about the status of the embryo: in Ireland the life of “the unborn” is constitutionally protected. Therefore the courts in Roche had to decide whether embryos were “unborn” within the meaning of the Irish Constitution.

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M Brazier . Hard cases make bad law? Journal of Medical Ethics 1997;23:341–3 at p. 341.

VB Lewis . Natural law in Irish constitutional jurisprudence. Catholic Social Science Review 1997;2:171–82 at p. 173.

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F Gough . Ireland and the frozen embryo: A slight thawing? Medical Law Review 2010;18:239–47.

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D DeGrazia . Must we have full moral status throughout our existence: A response to Alfonso Gómez-Lobo. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 2007;17(4):297–310 at p. 303.

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Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics
  • ISSN: 0963-1801
  • EISSN: 1469-2147
  • URL: /core/journals/cambridge-quarterly-of-healthcare-ethics
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