Legal Status, Moral Values and Cosmological Order

Embryo Politics in Iran
Par Shirin Naef
Legal Status, Moral Values and Cosmological Order: Embryo Politics in Iran While looking at the relationship between kinship, religion and law in the context of biotechnology, this paper focuses on embryo politics, especially embryo donation, and examines some of the current thinking on the status of the human embryo in the Iranian and Shia context. It argues that the legal meanings and moral values ascribed to the human embryos appear to be deeply associated with existing foundational assumptions about kinship and reproduction. It demonstrates, furthermore, that existing embryo politics and the utilization patterns of reproductive technologies in Iran are embedded within several frameworks: the coinciding of religious, medical and legal authorities – between sacred and secular –, diverse religious and medical‑political establishments, a complex sets of values and norms, professional interests, active choices made by individuals and the emergence of commercial agencies.
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