Is age the limit for human-assisted reproduction techniques? 'Yes', said an Italian judge

J Med Ethics. 2013 Apr;39(4):250-2. doi: 10.1136/medethics-2011-100358. Epub 2012 Nov 26.


Although use of assisted reproduction techniques was examined by an ad hoc act in 2004 in Italy, there are many opposing views about ethical and economic implications of the technologies dealing with infertility and sterility problems. In this paper, the authors examine a recent judge's decision that ordered the removal and subsequent adoption of a 1-year-old child because her parents were considered too old to be parents. The couple had had recourse to heterologous artificial insemination abroad and decided to give birth in Italy. The judgement deals with and discusses the complex issue of the right to procreate in order to balance the opportunities offered by scientific progress with the unborn child's condition.

MeSH terms

  • Adoption*
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aging*
  • Contraindications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infertility
  • Italy
  • Middle Aged
  • Parents*
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Pregnancy
  • Reproductive Rights / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted / legislation & jurisprudence*