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January 3, 1986

Social Policy Considerations in Noncoital Reproduction

Author Affiliations

From the Section of Human Genetics, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago (Dr Elias); and the Health Law Section, Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health (Dr Annas).

JAMA. 1986;255(1):62-68. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370010068027

NOW THAT 1984 has come and gone, Huxley's vision of our future in Brave New World looms larger than Orwell's. Huxley envisioned the abolition of parenthood and the family, which would take place with the full cooperation of society as it attempted to improve on natural reproduction. We are on our way toward Huxley's vision, and 1984 saw significant scientific and societal developments in noncoital human reproduction and corresponding steps to redefine parenthood and family relationships. On the scientific side, the year saw the first birth from surrogate embryo transfer (SET)1 and the first birth from a frozen embryo (New York Times, April 11, 1984, p A16). On the societal side, the year saw major reports by government-appointed panels on noncoital reproduction in the United Kingdom (the Warnock Report)2 and Australia (the Waller Report)3 and Congressional hearings on the subject in the United States.4

Techniques for