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Interface - Comunicação, Saúde, Educação

Print version ISSN 1414-3283

Abstract

SILVA, Susana  and  MACHADO, Helena. Legal, medical and lay understanding of embryos in Portugal: alignment with biology?. Interface (Botucatu) [online]. 2010, vol.5Selected edition, pp. 0-0. ISSN 1414-3283.

This article provides a contribution to the debate about the processes of circulation of knowledge and meanings among experts and laymen regarding the status of human embryos in Portugal. It weighs up the expectations and concerns regarding the reliability, quality, safety and efficacy of medically assisted reproductive technologies. Individual interviews, aimed at exploring the complexities, similarities and differences among the views and values of jurists, doctors and couples involved in in vitro fertilization treatments, were the data source. This is a qualitative analysis on a case study. While jurists and doctors frame embryo status in biological, technical and/or legal terms, couples establish ontological relationships of moral, affective and social nature with embryos, which turns them into ethical beings, thus contrasting with the medical-legal biologization of the embryos.

Keywords : Status of human embryos; Legalization; Biologization; Moralization.

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