Assisted reproductive technologies in Brazil: options to improve access

Marilena C. D. V Corrêa Maria Andrea Loyola About the authors

Abstract

This article revisits the pattern of assimilation and dissemination of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) in Brazil, characterized by extreme concentration of this technology in the private medical sector and very low setting in the application of these techniques. This pattern has generated enormous difficulties and barriers to access to these techniques, basically for economic reasons. From the presentation of the overview of the history of ART, the article focuses on two cases that may propose solutions for excessive exclusion access, although it does not modify the same privatization logic that marks RT in the country, since the problem of infertility was not prioritized, so far, by the Unified Health System. The first, brought by the pharmaceutical industry, consists of a subsidized purchasing program of drug users by the so-called Programa Acesso. The second proposal, known as shared ovules donation, implies the exchange between two women, of biologically scarce reproductive materials (oocytes). This exchange occurs, in general, from a woman who has ovules and cannot afford treatment and another who has no ovules to reproduce, and pays for the treatment of the donor. Both proposals diffuse a legal framework rather poorly regulated in terms of the application of ART, but prohibit practices not authorized in the Constitution and criminalized in penal law such as the sale of human organs and tissues in general, as well as volunteers to payment tests for research. In terms of methodology, the article assumes monographic character and literary debate, but is also based on the collection of recent secondary data, as well as numerous empirical studies conducted over the last 25 years by the authors.

 Key words:
assisted reproduction; biomedical technology; access; reproductive rights.

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