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Policy Design for Human Embryo Research in Canada: 1989–2015

  • Françoise BaylisEmail author
  • Matthew Herder
Chapter
Part of the The International Library of Ethics, Law and Technology book series (ELTE, volume 16)

Abstract

In Canada, research involving human embryos is circumscribed by law and research guidelines. This chapter describes the development of these policy instruments over the past 25+ years and analyses this history using a typology of modes of public consultation developed by Eric Montpetit (2003). Over time, the degree to which the views of Canadians on human embryo research have been solicited as part of the policy-making process has diminished significantly. We expect this trend to continue, given the presence of powerful interest groups and policy communities “speaking for” Canadians.

Keywords

Embryos Stem Cells Research Policy Public Consultation 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Thanks are owed to Eric Montpetit for comments on an earlier draft. As well, parts of the text were reviewed for accuracy by Jeff Nisker (past member of the Discussion Group on Embryo Research), Francine Manseau (retired federal public servant actively involved in shepherding the Assisted Human Reproduction Act (AHR Act) through the legislative process), and Lynne Cayer (Ethics Policy Advisor, CIHR). Thanks are also owed to Tim Krahn for careful research assistance. Any errors are our own. This work is supported by a research grant from the Australian Research Council DP0556068 and a salary award from the Canada Research Chairs program (to Françoise Baylis).

This chapter is an updated and significantly revised version of: Baylis, F. and M. Herder. 2009a. Policy design for human embryo research in Canada: A history. Part 1 of 2. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 6(1):109–122.; and Baylis, F. and M. Herder. 2009b. Policy design for human embryo research in Canada: An analysis. Part 2 of 2. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 6(3):351–365. Reprinted with the permission of Springer.

Competing Interests

Françoise Baylis was a member of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) ad hoc Working Group on Stem Cell Research from November 2000 to December 2001 and a member of the CIHR Governing Council from December 2001 to December 2004. She was a Principal Investigator funded by the Stem Cell Network from January 2002 to December 2005. In 2006 she prepared an Expert Opinion for the federal government in Attorney General of Québec v. Attorney General of Canada. From 2006 to 2010 she was a member of the Board of Directors of Assisted Human Reproduction Canada. The views expressed herein are her own.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NTE Impact Ethics, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts and Social SciencesDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of Medicine, and Schulich School of LawDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada

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