Which comes first--the agency or the egg?

The creation of the Assisted Human Reproduction Agency Canada is almost two decades overdue. Why the delay?

December 5, 2006 | by Kate Fraher , Researcher, Institute of Marriage and Family Canada
PDF:  Which comes first--the agency or the egg?


  1. In 1993, the Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies published a report called Proceed with Care.  The report included 293 recommendations and emphasized the need for a federal-level regulatory body.
  2. The process of compiling legislation has been fraught with disagreement and delay on the part of the government bodies assigned to the project.  On an issue as controversial as the moral status of the embryos used in in-vitro fertilization and ‘leftover’ embryos designated to scientific research, it was a challenge finding legislation that all camps could agree on.
  3. The Assisted Human Reproduction Act, S.C. 2004.
  4. The Assisted Human Reproduction Act, S.C. 2004. Chapter 2 section 22.
  5. Beeson, Diane & Abby Lippman. (2006). Egg Harvesting for Stem Cell Research: Medical Risks and Ethical Problems. Reproductive BioMedicine Online, Vol. 13, No 4. 573-579.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Athuis MD, Moghissi KS, Westhoff CL et al. 2005 Uterine cancer after use of clomiphene citrate to induce ovulation. American Journal of Epidemiology 161, 607-615. Brinton LS, Kamran S. Moghissi MD et al. 2005 Ovulation induction and cancer risk. Fertility and Sterility 83, 261-274.  Questionable: Ness RB, Cramer DW, Goodman MT 2002 Infertility, fertility drugs, and ovarian cancer: a pooled analysis of case-control studies. American Journal of Epidemiology 155, 217-224.
  8. Marquardt, Elizabeth. (2006). The Revolution in Parenthood: The Emerging Global Clash between Adult Rights and Children’s Needs. New York: The Institute for American Values.  Retrieved from http://www.imfcanada.org/issues/revolution-parenthood
  9. Ibid.
  10. Dr. Shanner, Associate Professor at the John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre and Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Alberta and Dr. Jeffrey Nisker, a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Coordinator of Bioethics and the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Western Ontario co-authored the review “Bioethics for Clinicians: 26. Assisted Reproductive Technologies.” Canadian Medical Association Journal; May 29, 2001; 164, 11: ProQuest Psychology Journals.
  11. Somerville, Margaret. (2006). The Ethical Imagination: Journeys of the Human Spirit. Toronto: House of Anansi Press, 119.
  12. Ibid. 120.
  13. Baylis, Françoise & Ram, Natalie. (October, 2005). Eligibility of Cryoprserved Human Embryos for Stem Cell Research in Canada. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 27(10): 949-955.