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Jean-Philippe Wolf

Assisted Reproductive Technology: What Are the Limits? Donor Anonymity, Same-Sex Parenting, Surrogacy

Jean-Philippe Wolf is an obstetrician-gynaecologist and a biologist specialising in procreation. He performed the earliest sperm microinjections in France, in 1990. Since 2007, he has been the director of one of the primary ART centres and sperm banks in France, at Hôpital Cochin, Paris.

The advent of reproductive techniques to overcome infertility has given rise to a series of social and ethical debates concerning surrogacy, same-sex parenting, gamete donation and donor anonymity. But what do we know about patients’ actual experiences? What are their demands and discontents?
In this book, the author, a physician specialising in the latest assisted reproductive techniques, draws on his extensive practical experience to provide an overview of the diversity of infertility cases, the possible medical responses, patients’ hopes, and the controversial questions raised by ART.
Based on patients’ experiences and on his own practice, Professor Wolf frames a number of thought-provoking questions. Should everything be legal since just about everything is possible? At the heart of this question lies another one: Is parenthood a ‘right’? Is there a right to parenthood, just as there is a right to housing and a right to work? What are the as-yet unknown consequences of the latest reproductive technology: oocyte cryopreservation (egg freezing), donor anonymity, gestational surrogate mothering, reproductive tourism, etc.
Wanting a child is an understandable and widely shared feeling. But are procedures that can be imagined on an individual level feasible on a wide social scale? How could we define a reasoned and reasonable form of assisted reproductive technology?

• ART has upended our view of a child’s conception.
• The viewpoint of a physician with day-to-day experience of this issue.