Comparative Perspectives on the Regulation of Assisted Reproductive Technologies in the United Kingdom and Canada

  • Erin L. Nelson Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law and Research Associate, Health Law Institute, University of Alberta.


This article highlights some concerns with the regulatory structure envisioned by Canada's new Assisted Human Reproduction Act, principally by comparing Canada's proposed Assisted Human Reproduction Agency (AHRA) with the United Kingdom's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). The article elaborates on the past and present regulation of ARTs in both Canada and the United Kingdom, using the current regulation of preimplantation genetic diagnosis by the HFEA as an example. The author notes that there is considerable cause for concern over the ability of the AHRA to effectively regulate ARTs, and cautions that Canada's proposed regulatory structure may serve only to reignite the debate around the moral status of the embryo that featured so prominently in the debate over the legislation itself.