Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics

Special Section: Bioethics beyond Borders 2011

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

SHEELAGH McGUINNESS and SORCHA UÍ CHONNACHTAIGH

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.

(Online publication May 20 2011)

Sheelagh McGuinness, L.L.B., Ph.D., is a lecturer in ethics and law at the Centre for Professional Ethics, School of Law, Keele University.

Sorcha Uí Chonnachtaigh, Ph.D., is a lecturer in ethics at the Centre for Professional Ethics, Keele University.

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