Key laws and policies
- Medically Assisted Procreation Law (Norme in materia di procreazione medicalmente assistita), February 19, 2004
The Medically Assisted Procreation Law prohibits:
- Sperm or egg donation
- Embryo freezing
- Embryo research
Permitted and regulated practices
Fertilized human eggs may be used only for medically assisted procreation.
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis is allowed exceptionally by court order on a case-by-case basis.
Sex selection of embryos is only allowed if the embryo is at risk of sex-linked pathologies, and apparently only by sperm sorting.
"Artificial insemination is limited to heterosexuals of childbearing age who are married or can prove they are in a stable relationship."
The 2004 Law "was widely seen as a Catholic backlash against Italy's reputation for producing a handful of maverick fertility experts." A referendum to modify it failed due to lack of voter turnout after the Catholic church urged a boycott.
- "Italians to vote on fertility law," BBC (January 13, 2005)
- Rosario M. Isasi and Bartha M. Knoppers, "Mind the Gap: Policy Approaches to Embryonic Stem Cell and Cloning Research in 50 Countries," European Journal of Health Law (Vol. 13 No. 1, 2006)
- Fabio Turone, "Italian court upholds couple's demand for preimplantation genetic diagnosis," BMJ (Vol. 335 No. 7622, October 6, 2007)
- "What Is Legal?" BioNet, accessed on July 7, 2008
- Ian Fisher, "Italian Vote to Ease Fertility Law Fails for Want of Voters," New York Times (June 14, 2005)