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2nd Session, 35th Parliament,
45-46 Elizabeth II, 1996-97

The House of Commons of Canada

BILL C-47

An Act respecting human reproductive technologies and commercial transactions relating to human reproduction

Preamble

WHEREAS the Parliament of Canada is gravely concerned about the significant threat to human dignity, the risks to human health and safety, both known and unknown, and other serious social and ethical issues posed by certain reproductive and genetic technologies;

WHEREAS the Parliament of Canada acknowledges the health and ethical dangers inherent in the commercialization of human reproduction, including the sale of reproductive materials, the trade in reproductive capacities of women and the exploitation of women and children for commercial ends;

AND WHEREAS the Parliament of Canada recognizes the need for measures to protect and promote human dignity and equality and the best interests of children in relation to such technologies and transactions;

NOW, THEREFORE, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

SHORT TITLE

Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Human Reproductive and Genetic Technologies Act.

INTERPRETATION

Definitions

2. The definitions in this section apply in this Act.

``donor''
« donneur »

``donor'', in relation to ova or sperm, means the person who produces the ova or sperm, whether or not for purposes of donation.

``embryo''
« embryon »

``embryo'' means a human organism during the period of its development beginning on the fifteenth day and ending on the fifty-sixth day following fertilization.

``foetus''
« foetus »

``foetus'' means a human organism during the period of its development beginning on the fifty-seventh day following fertilization and ending at birth.

``Minister''
« ministre »

``Minister'' means the Minister of Health.

``ovum''
« ovule »

``ovum'' means a human ovum.

``sperm''
« sperme »

``sperm'' means a human sperm.

``zygote''
« zygote »

``zygote'' means a human organism during the first fourteen days of its development following fertilization, excluding any time spent in a frozen state.

OBJECTS

Objects of Act

3. The objects of this Act are

    (a) to protect the health and safety of Canadians in the use of human reproductive materials for assisted reproduction, other medical procedures and medical research;

    (b) to ensure the appropriate treatment of human reproductive materials outside the body in recognition of their potential to form human life; and

    (c) to protect the dignity of all persons, in particular children and women, in relation to uses of human reproductive materials.

PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES

Prohibited procedures

4. (1) No person shall knowingly

    (a) manipulate a human cell , zygote or embryo for the purpose of producing a zygote or embryo that contains the same genetic information as a living or deceased human being or a zygote, embryo or foetus, or implant in a woman a zygote or embryo so produced;

    (b) cause the fertilization of a human ovum by sperm of an animal or the fertilization of an animal ovum by human sperm, for the purpose of producing a zygote that is capable of differentiation;

    (c) fuse human and animal zygotes or embryos;

    (d) implant a human embryo in an animal or an animal embryo in a woman;

    (e) alter the genetic structure of an ovum, sperm, zygote or embryo if the altered structure is capable of transmission to a subsequent generation;

    (f) retrieve an ovum or sperm from a foetus or corpse with the intention

      (i) that the ovum mature outside the human body, be fertilized or be implanted in a woman, or

      (ii) that the sperm be used to fertilize an ovum;

    (g) cause an ovum or sperm retrieved from a foetus or corpse to mature outside the human body, or

      (i) cause the fertilization of such an ovum, or fertilization of an ovum by such sperm, or

      (ii) implant in a woman such an ovum, or an ovum fertilized by such sperm;

    (h) perform any medical procedure for the purpose of ensuring, or increasing the probability, that a zygote or embryo will be of a particular sex, except for reasons related to the health of the zygote or embryo;

    (i) perform any diagnostic procedure for the purpose of ascertaining the sex of a zygote, embryo or foetus, except for reasons related to its health;

    (j) maintain a developing embryo outside the human body; or

    (k) cause the fertilization of an ovum outside the human body for purposes of research.

Offers

(2) No person shall offer to do anything prohibited by subsection (1).

Inducements

(3) No person shall offer consideration to any person for carrying out any procedure prohibited by subsection (1).

Payment for surrogacy

5. (1) No person shall provide consideration to a woman to serve as a surrogate mother or offer, either privately or publicly, to provide consideration for such services .

Payment to intermedia-
ries

(2) No person shall provide or offer to provide consideration to a person to arrange the services of a surrogate mother.

Acting as intermediary

(3) No person shall arrange or offer to arrange, for consideration, the services of another person as a surrogate mother.

Meaning of ``surrogate mother''

(4) For the purposes of this section, a surrogate mother is a woman who agrees to carry a child, conceived from an ovum, sperm or zygote provided by a donor, and to surrender the child after birth.

Purchase and sale

6. (1) No person shall sell, purchase, barter or exchange, or offer to sell, purchase, barter or exchange, any ovum, sperm, zygote, embryo or foetus, or any part thereof .

Considera-
tion for donation

(2) No person shall provide to a donor, and no donor shall accept, any consideration for the donation of ova or sperm, except a donation of sperm made during the period of three years following the coming into force of this section.

Expenses of collection

(3) Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of the recovery of expenses incurred by a person other than a donor in the collection, storage or distribution of ova or sperm.

Use of ovum without consent

7. (1) No person shall use any ovum for the purpose of research, donation, maturation, fertilization or implantation in a woman unless the donor of the ovum has consented to its use for that purpose.

Use of sperm without consent

(2) No person shall use any sperm for the purpose of research, donation, maturation, fertilization or insemination of a woman unless the donor of the sperm has consented to its use for that purpose.

Use of zygote or embryo without consent

(3) No person shall use a zygote or embryo for the purpose of research or implantation in a woman unless the donors of the ovum and sperm that produced it have consented to its use for that purpose.

Exception

(4) Subsection (2) does not apply in respect of the use of sperm for purposes of identification or prosecution in relation to an offence under the Criminal Code.

ENFORCEMENT

Offence and punishment

8. Any person who contravenes any of sections 4 to 7 is guilty of an offence and

    (a) is liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding $250,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding four years or to both; or

    (b) is liable, on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding $500,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or to both.

Notice to interested authorities

9. The Minister may notify any interested authority established under the laws of Canada or a province of the identity of a person charged with an offence under this Act.

Court orders

10. A court that imposes a fine or term of imprisonment on a person in respect of an offence under this Act may

    (a) order the forfeiture and disposition of anything by means of which the offence was committed; or

    (b) on application by the Minister, enjoin the person from engaging in any activity that, in the court's opinion, may lead to the commission of an offence under this Act.

Consent of Attorney General

11. A prosecution for an offence under this Act may not be instituted unless it is consented to by the Attorney General, within the meaning of the Criminal Code .

Inspectors and analysts

12. The Minister may designate any person or any class of persons to be an inspector or an analyst for the purposes of this Act, and sections 22 to 29 and 35 of the Food and Drugs Act apply to those persons, with such modifications as the circumstances require.

Regulations

13. The Governor in Council may make regulations for carrying out the purposes and provisions of this Act.

COMING INTO FORCE

Coming into force

14. This Act or any of its provisions comes into force on a day or days to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council.

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