Free Access
Reprod. Nutr. Dev.
Volume 45, Number 3, May-June 2005
SYMPOSIUM: Homage to Professor Charles Thibault
Page(s) 307 - 319
Reprod. Nutr. Dev. 45 (2005) 307-319
DOI: 10.1051/rnd:2005023

From transgression to pragmatism in reproductive medicine

Claude Sureau

4 Boulevard du Château, 92200 Neuilly-sur-Seine, France

Abstract - It is difficult to harmonise faith and the desire to follow religious teachings and obligations on the one hand, and scientific advances and their use for the benefit of suffering humanity on the other. This is an especially delicate matter for patients and health professionals in reproductive medicine. It deals with the conflicting issues of contraception, termination of pregnancy, assisted reproduction, cloning, stem cells and embryo research. Beyond the technical aspects of these matters, the theoretical, legal, philosophical and religious implications must be explored, including the concepts of personality, individuality, human dignity, autonomy, beneficence and justice. Most importantly, an analysis must be made of the beginnings of a human being, the protection it deserves, the concept and time of ensoulment, the need for pragmatism and the right of transgression (hence the title of this article).

Key words: contraception / termination of pregnancy / assisted reproduction / cloning / stem cells / embryo research / personality / individuality / human dignity / autonomy / beneficence / justice / pragmatism / transgression

Corresponding author: Claude Sureau

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2005