The Law on Egg and Sperm donation in Italy

Baroness Murphy

Since I first came to Italy 45 years ago, there has been a dramatic shift in Italian society. The collapse of the Roman Catholic Church as a forceful power in people’s lives has been dramatic. The loss of belief among younger generations is most notable among young women and now only about 5-7% of the population, largely older women, attends mass frequently. There was a small resurgence in interest with the appointment of Pope Francis but essentially Italy is now very much in line with other western European countries in being largely secular. Family is as strong as ever though, even though marriage and childbearing are later than they used to be. The drive to marry and raise a family still figure high in people’s priorities. But legislation drags behind what the population wants.  Italy’s deep Catholic roots can be credited for its having one of the most restrictive laws on in vitro fertilization and embryo research in the western world, as well as having a relatively low abortion rate as 80% of doctors exercise the right to refuse to participate in abortion.

In April however Italy’s constitutional court overturned a ban on using donor sperm and eggs in fertility treatments, knocking down part of a divisive set of restrictions on assisted reproduction. The court said the ban breached the constitution, without going into further detail, but the Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin, from the socially conservative New Centre Right party, said parliament would have to debate how the court order could be applied-delaying tactics. Couples in Italy have launched a string of legal challenges to the restrictions and this week a court in Bologna granted a couple the right to use donors in fertility treatment immediately, four years since they launched their legal battle to have a family. Sperm and egg donation will at last become legal and in future the many couples who currently go abroad for treatment will no longer need to.

The law also outlaws the use of embryos in scientific research, although it supports research on tissue (adult) stem cell research. The exclusion of embryonic research and the position of embryos as ‘subjects with rights’ leaves 30,000 frozen supernumerary embryos in permanent limbo.


4 comments for “The Law on Egg and Sperm donation in Italy

  1. MilesJSD
    25/08/2014 at 5:23 pm

    With an already hugely overpopulated World, why does this Human Race on Earth-1 so disastrously need
    not seek, wish or want, but


    such millions of babies conceived, and-or produced, and maybe long-term stored’,
    by artificial and/or medical-treatment ’emergencies’ methods?

    Precisely what is the meeting-point or overlap between Macro-Psychology and Social-Psychology ?

    Because to the sane and sensible there must be no reproduction without at least wholesome rearing-&-educational-planning up to at least the age of 16, many mature and balance adults holding the beginning of wholly-responsible adulthood to be at age 21.

    And furthermore there, that the Reproduction-Plan may need firstly a biologically healthy mother & father [one or both of whom could be criminals]

    but possibly much more vitally the child will long-term need
    ‘socially’ healthy, mature, and sustainworthy-life-experienced ‘mothering’ and ‘fathering’.
    So, how do on the one hand
    the Sacred [Religious] authorities,
    and on the other the Secular [Scientific] authorities,
    strongly and validly argue against Wholistic-Reproduction & Child Rearing ?

    For instance, what is the place of un- or sub- conscious relationship-factors ?
    such as the interplay of real-life-situations body-interactivities, and Pheronomes ?

    and the long-term synergic-positivity of body-mind-spirit* ‘team-work’
    and of ‘covenance’** ability between the two parents ?
    { * “spirit” = as the internal-link-direct-from and with ‘God’ or The-Divine’; as ‘slash-tribar-opposed’ to external “religion”;
    ** covenance = covenantal-love as slash-tribar distinct from and in addition to mere contractual-commitment (which can be broken or ‘bought-out-of’) }.
    Surely there is more to be scrutinised-through and probably radically-reformed, if the human Future is to “last” upon this Earth-1 &-and onwards through the lifespan of an Earth-2 ‘elsewhere in Space’, too ?

  2. maude elwes
    27/08/2014 at 8:17 am

    Why is it the people who now run our country refuse to accept the one uniting factor in our world which we call human nature? The one thing that binds mankind through every environment and State across our planet you simply reject. What has gone wrong with your brain? Or, should I ask, what are you eating? GM products along with excess hormones in our food must be the reason you separate from the natural animal we are to the subhuman ‘faux amiss’ creature this creates.

    I’m putting this link to a newspaper article found in our ‘Daily Mail’ this morning. And no, don’t groan, it’s the basis of this entire question of surrogacy and the separation of the physical ability to conceive and the human instinct, which nature intended us to follow in order to keep the ability to thrive healthily. Or, as near to healthy as you can get in an often flawed DNA.

    Of course, I could pull up a hundred of these stories from across the globe but let us stick to this and the most recent rejection of the Downs syndrome twin from another surrogate, supported by the purchase the offspring brigade, recently sited in Australia.

    The Christian Church or RC of Italy have it just about right. And don’t use this leaning I have to reject this form of husbandry with the idea that I’m somehow a practicing Christian indoctrinated by biblical groans. I’m coming from the point you all run from, for idiotic political correct reasoning, that says, unless you go along with the derisory you are a retroactive akin to Sod’s wife, who, turned to salt for questioning.

    My view stems from a natural rejection by animals to the unfit. Have you watched the cat when her kittens arrive? The one unable to naturally survive is left in its sack and ignored. And that natural selection is far more pronounced when the physical and therefore emotional connection to the human offspring is diminished or non existent. Human babies bred as living dolls are not part of the physical and emotional make up of those who paid for their existence. And it doesn’t matter how you try to pretend that logic will overcome that little down side, it doesn’t and wont for very long in most cases. The spiritual connection to the offspring does not exist in the psyche. That unseen, unknown ruler of us all remains bereft.

    The parties who go for this solution to their distress are often individuals with severe dysfunctional lives in the first place. And the buying of a baby will not and cannot transform that dire situation for very long. A husband or partner of a woman who longs for children but can’t have them naturally harbours a long covered resentment at his choice of partner. And where the offspring has no connection to his own DNA he will feel cheated no matter the outward face. Especially as time replaces the desire and instinct to please the female. Which, is mirrored by the female toward the man who is not the intended stud she thought she had bagged.

    When you go one step further and use the female egg, sperm of a donor along with incubation in another body altogether, you separate further the deep emotional ties of blood. Therefore, the flawed offspring then becomes the enemy that does not belong to the purchaser. This is not what they paid for. It cannot be theirs.

    So, we are left with human beings that not only were unnecessarily produced, as the planet is already filled with unwanted children, we have exacerbated the horror of you can get anything with enough money regardless of the morality. And this is the domain of the Church. The morality behind this contract is flawed in the extreme. It appeals to the human life is cheap brigade and those who want to make money from the obscene. Brave New World. Is that the future you always dreamed of and wanted for human life?

    Of course, I know this is a deeply sensitive and complicated issue. However, instinct knows the entire practice is deceitful and not in the interests of mankind as a whole. Cannot be, as it goes against human nature and as I have written so many times, that is a cauldron we are not intellectually ready to cook in, as the poison added, without fail, spoils the stew.

  3. MilesJSD
    04/09/2014 at 11:55 pm

    “Why is it the people who now run our country refuse to accept the one uniting factor in our world which we call human nature ?”

    One is tempted to answer
    “Because they are all both grossly overpaid and underworked, and alienly avoidant of real-life-struggle and strife –

    – in addition to which should be highlighted that they prevent others from making progress as Lifeplace individuals and in mutual small-neighbourhood groups
    progress, that is, in

    positively supporting Nature

    by healthier-habits-building and sustainworthy-longest-term-environmental-strategy creating and implementing.

    instead of civilisationally-impairing and negatively twisting Natures that are ‘increated’ within and around us.

    I welcome your good intentions, maude
    [under the 2nd principle of good-communication and honest-argumentation]

    but in the sub-detail,
    Lot’s wife
    was turned into
    a pillar of salt
    [not the words “turned to”,

    which incidentally are the words used in some Anglican christenings “I turn to Christ”

    but since in further Anglican words, said to Holy Communion ‘recipients’,
    “We are the body of Christ”,
    Christ is already within one, and so is turning wherever one chooses to turn… ?]

    which soon also gets one as bogged-down as the artificial-human-reproduction scientific thinking and political correctness do.

  4. Daedalus
    19/09/2014 at 3:28 pm

    The body is the repository of the soul so a soul begets a soul when a child develops within a mother’s womb; for it to takes place outside of the body amounts to an act of necrophilia something that is not accommodated with the spiritual paradigm of religion.

    The soul had an exact opposite when the world was dominated by the temporal paradigm of religion. The old religion of Egypt held this to be a person’s ‘Ka’. Because Ka was a representation of a complete body it would not have mattered if fertilisation took place outside of the body because the resulting child would be possessed of Ka but only so long as the birth took place within the realm of the living.

    This allows Isis to mount her dead husband Osiris and for him to impregnate her resulting in the birth of the god Horus. Christ has to be born of a women but the father presents a problem. Christ is thus born of parthenogenesis a word that derives from the Greek, parthenos meaning virgin and genesis meaning birth.

    The question was once asked “can a child be born within Duat, the realm of the dead?” Bring this up to date and ask “could IVF be practised in Duat?” The answer is no. Nobody within Duat could be in possession of a ka without it first being stripped of Ismet and its heart tested by the scales of Maat.

    Another question would be asked “men are bound to impregnate women in Duat surely the place would be filled with children.” Again the answer would be no. A girl is prepared for Duat at puberty by removing all erogenous parts of their vaginal area and the vaginal opening sewn together so that only a shirt button size hole remains for the release of menstrual fluids. It heals as solid flesh.

    When marriage comes the vagina is cut open so that two sometimes three fingers can be inserted. When the child is due to be born the vaginal area is cut further to make it wider. After the afterbirth the vagina is sewn up again. Should death come to this women she would be prepared for Duat. No penetrative sexual act with a woman can take place in Duat.

    More questions “a woman deprived of her ability to bear children goes against the justice of Maat so why does Osiris allow this?” He doesn’t, the ability of women to give birth is taken by Osiris and given over to nature so that he may resurrect the harvest. The women of Duat deliver the fruits of the harvest and the bounty of the earth and so they become mother to nature instead of men.

    It would seem that science has little part to play within the spiritual paradigm but operates freely within the temporal one. The parthenogenesis of Christ could be taken as a direct rebuff of what could never happen in Duat the realm of the dead.

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