Negotiating bioethics of reproductive donation in Taiwan and Japan
(National Cheng-Kung University)
Paper short abstract:
This short impulse presentation leads into the roundtable discussion. It juxtaposes the negotiation of ethical concepts - such as reproductive right, health risk management, and identity - of stakeholders involved in reproductive donation in Taiwan and Japan.
Paper long abstract:
Assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) are co-shaped with regulation, societal values, and understandings of human dignity that make diverse practices in different societies. In this paper, I compare the negotiations of ethical concepts such as reproductive right, health risk management, and identity of those involved in reproductive donation in Taiwan and Japan. Drawing from archival documents and interviews, my findings show prioritisation of differing ethical concerns in these two governance regimes. ART legislation in Taiwan (Artificial Reproduction Act) emphasises anonymity and autonomy of donors and recipient couples while avoiding the anxiety of incest probability among half-siblings at any expense. The absence of discussions about donor-conceived children's rights to know their origins is one outcome of this. Taiwan also sets the strictest use of donated eggs and sperms: a donor's gametes can only produce one baby. In Japan, ART regulation takes the form of consent guidelines rather than law. The Japan Institution for Standardizing Assisted Reproductive Technology (JISART) highlights the welfare of donor-conceived children, especially with respect to their identity and origin. Societal values of biological relationship highly affect gamete donations in Japan. Such a comparison of value-oriented national ART regulations is necessary in order to understand and inform transnational ART use.
Empirical bioethics in STS. Making science, technology and society in research and deliberative spaces