Parliament: Legislature Strive for Judicial Backing in the Medically Assisted Reproduction Practice

Public Health Minister has reiterated the importance of o a judicial framework backing the practice of Medically Assisted Reproduction (MAR) in Cameroon.

Dr. Manaouda Malachie was made known his views shortly after defending the bill relating to Medically Assisted Reproduction in Cameroon before members of the committee on Cultural Affairs this TuesdayJune 27 2022 at the National Assembly.

Hon. Lawson Tabot, member of Committee on Social Affairs at the National Assembly after the briefing with the health minister said if the law relating to Medically Assisted Reproduction is ratified, it will help govern and curb a lot of malpractices in the sector.

The Bill Relating to Medically Assisted Reproduction in Cameroon

This bill seeks to lay down rules governing medically assisted reproduction (MAR) in Cameroon. Medically assisted reproduction, which has been practised in Cameroon for many years, has gained some traction with the Hospital Centre for Endoscopic Surgery and Human Reproduction Research and Application ( CHRACERH ) established by Presidential Decree No. 2011/336 of 13 October 2011.

However, it has been observed that the activity lacks a legal framework, thus potentially paving the way for multiple abuses in this highly sensitive sector.

Therefore, the proposed legal framework seeks to provide a legal response to the strong desire for parenthood from married or unmarried couples, as well as a normative framework in terms of rules and procedures to be observed by sector practitioners.

In this regard, the bill:

– allows persons seeking MAR to realize their parenthood plans under appropriate legal protection
– provides hospitals conducting or seeking to conduct MAR with a legal framework governing their activities
– provides public authorities with a suitable sector control and regulatory tool .

Overall, the bill states and reaffirms the following principles that underpin MAR use and practice:

– respect for the life and dignity of the human person.
– principle of prior, free and informed written consent.
– principle of gratuity, voluntary participation and anonymity.
– compliance with bioethical and deontological rules.
– confidentiality and safety of data and information collected.
– prior information of applicants and psychosocial support for the couple.

Bruno Ndonwie Funwie

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