Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 February 2010
As assisted means of reproduction have enabled childless couples and individuals to enjoy parenthood, they have also raised ethical, legal and religious questions. The physician facilitating the creation of these new families must be aware of the issues raised and the potential areas of controversy that might affect the patient's decision of whether and how to undergo infertility treatment.
As one explores the subject of intrauterine insemination (IUI), one should be aware of the various terms that may be used to explain the same procedure. Although “intrauterine insemination” is the modern term for the insertion of sperm into a women's reproductive tract by a means other than sexual intercourse, the term “artificial insemination” is commonly used in court opinions, legislation and religious documents to describe the same procedure. Other terms that are also used to convey the technique are “assisted insemination” and “alternative insemination”. Thus, when researching the legal or religious treatment of the procedure, one must be prepared to approach the subject using various terms.
Guidelines, regulations and commissions
Various sources of guidance or regulation are available. Partially due to the controversial aspects of the questions involved, the method of dealing with the issues may vary from state to state and country to country. Guidelines, rather than statutes, provide the overseeing of assisted reproduction in many nations [3:S9–12]. Self-regulation by physicians or other professionals oft en provides recommended standards.