Friday, November 23, 2018 - 8:00am to 5:30pm
Rosalie Silberman Abella Moot Court Room (J250), Jackman Law Building, 78 Queen's Park

Assisted human reproduction has been rapidly developing in a complex social, medical, and legal context.

In 2004, the Canadian federal government enacted the Assisted Human Reproduction Act. An early constitutional challenge by Quebec resulted in the removal of many key components of that federal legislation. Changing social attitudes, new scientific developments, and commercial interests may underlie renewed calls for changes to the parts of the legislation that remain, including the prohibitions against the commercialization of gametes and surrogacy, and against genetic modification of germ cells.

And while Canadian laws and jurisprudence continue to protect the privacy interests of gamete donors, other countries now favour offsprings’ rights to know their biological origin.

The federal and provincial governments are under conflicting pressures: to strengthen the existing regulatory regime or to reimagine how assisted human reproduction should be regulated and funded in Canada. In response, Health Canada has recently announced draft regulations to address some of the issues that will be discussed at this meeting, which will be presented and discussed at the meeting.

This one-day interdisciplinary conference, at which leading experts will engage with policy makers (Health Canada) and advocacy groups, will explore a number of key issues related to assisted human reproduction, including:

  • offspring's right to know their biological history and donors' right to privacy
  • commercialization of surrogacy and gametes
  • government funding for fertility treatment
  • the future of reproductive technology

This conference invites policymakers, healthcare professionals, academics, stakeholders, and the general public to identify gaps that need to be addressed by legislation surrounding assisted human reproduction, keeping in mind ethical and policy considerations, and to put forth solutions for addressing those gaps.

Organized jointly between Health Law in Canada, the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, and the Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. This event is part of the Mary and Philip Seeman Health Law, Policy and Ethics Seminar Series.

This conference qualifies for six (6.0) substantive CPD hours with the Law Society of Ontario.

In advance of the conference, on Thursday Nov. 22 there will be a free public debate on the subject "The prohibition on payment for surrogacy and gametes in Canada should be repealed."