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Book and Media Reviews
April 21, 2010

Legal Conceptions: The Evolving Law and Policy of Assisted Reproductive Technologies

JAMA. 2010;303(15):1541. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.464

Procreation begets litigation: it is an old story. Still, the authors of this book, Susan Crockin and Howard Jones, point to assisted reproduction as a fertile field for new and interesting legal questions. The approach they have chosen to those questions—obtaining case reports written contemporaneously with the developments described and organizing them by topic and then chronologically—has its advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, this approach delivers on the promise of the subtitle, giving the reader a sense of the evolution of law and policy over time and within and across jurisdictions. On the other hand, the reader misses the power of an overarching narrative weaving together cases and conceptual analysis, although the authors have tried to compensate with medical and legal commentaries for each topic area and a strong conclusion.