According to an official source, 15% of Italian couples cannot have children; another 5% are afflicted by secondary sterility (that arose after a pregnancy). What can modern medical science offer to these people? One of the worlds major experts on the physiology and pathology of human reproduction outlines the current state of knowledge in this field, including the causes of male and female sterility and the most advanced techniques of assisted fecundation. Although medically-assisted procreation offers a positive answer to an often irrepressible need, it also sparks conflict between differing ethical and legal outlooks, especially as regards the status of embryos and, in general, the frontiers of science. The volume illustrates the variety of positions and the relevant laws and regulations in effect in a selection of Western countries.
Carlo Flamigni heads the University of Bolognas Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and is a member of the Italian National Bioethics Committee.