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1 Hous. J. Health L. & Pol'y 227 (2001)
The Wild Wild West: Inadequate Regulation of Assisted Reproductive Technology

handle is hein.journals/hhpol1 and id is 243 raw text is: 1 Hous. J. HEA.LTH L. & POL'Y 227-261                                       227
Copyright © 2001 Alexander N. Hecht,
Houston Journal of Health Law & Policy
ISSN 1534-7907
Alexander N. Hecht*
The law addresses any new question by relying on precedent. When cars
were introduced, the wisdom from cases dealing with horses and buggies
governed..., [it was difficult to find precedents to deal with human
embryos. Were they property or people?... The doctors called me...
because the attorneys for their clinics respond to each of their questions by
saying, There is no law in this state that covers that. 1
Recent advances in Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)2
have spawned an exciting industry that aids thousands of American
couples in conceiving their own children.3 While promoting the
traditional values of raising a natural family, ART has unlocked a
Pandora's box of ethical concerns and policy issues that current
health law seems unprepared to resolve.4 Prenatal genetic screening
* J.D., University of Houston Law Center Class of 2001; B.A., University of Texas at Austin.
The author wishes to thank Mark A. Rothstein, J.D., Director of the Institute for Bioethics
and Health Policy at the University of Louisville; Jacqueline T. Hecht, Ph.D., Director of
Genetic Counseling at the University of Texas Medical School; and Shira Kansas, M.D.,
University of Maryland Medical School. Their knowledge, guidance, and creativity were
essential to this article.
NOLOGY 22 (1999).
2 For purposes of this paper, Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) is defined as any
medical technique that, through advances in biomedicine, facilitates or enables human
reproduction. This definition includes artificial insemination by donor, surrogacy, in vitro
fertilization (IVF), embryo transfer, and human cloning. See generally Sandra Anderson
Garcia, Sociocultural and Legal Implications of Creating and Sustaining Life Through Biomedical
Technology, 17 J. LEG. MED. 469 (1996) (providing a history of biotechnology development).
3 See National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Assisted Repro-
ductive Technology Success Rates (reporting a total of 80,634 ART cycles in 1998), at http://
wivw.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dm/art98/sectionl.html (last visited Mar. 31, 2001).
4 See Sozos J. Fasouliotis & Joseph G. Schenker, Ethics and Assisted Reproduction, 90 EuR J.
OBsrETRcs & REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY 171, 172 (2000) (arguing that assisted reproduction

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