I confess that what with one thing and another I have fallen behind in following Canadian law. There were some stories about criminal prosecutions connected to ART I was meaning to cover. (I guess I’ll come back to them.) Now comes this story. At least at first glance it appears that Canada is moving towards less regulation of ART.
That’s a bit surprising because I actually cannot think of any other jurisdiction about which I’d make that statement. Of course, much of the US remains largely unregulated, which makes moving to less regulation nearly impossible. But if I were to generalize about trends, I’d say that there is a general trend towards greater regulation–think about calls for regulation about number of offspring or anonymity of gamete providers. Legislative action towards regulation was the topic of the last post, really.
Now to be fair, it doesn’t look to me like the move away from regulation in Canada is the result of a considered decision that regulation is bad or inappropriate. It seems more like a convergence of circumstances that are leading to this result. And the story told in the paper doesn’t give a full picture. Remember that British Columbia is the where the Pratten case is being litigated.
Perhaps that is a better way to think about it. The legislative/administrative regulation of ART–at least on a federal level–seems to have frozen up or broken down or whatever. So, as I’ve occasionally noted in other contexts, courts/judges are left to deal with problems. I suppose you could say that cases like Pratten’s are an inevitable consequence of the kind of paralysis that can settle in to the legislative branch.
But you must take all I’ve said here with some hefty grains of salt. I’m not in Canada and I’m by no means an expert on what’s going on there. I hope someone from there can fill us in a bit.