Legal Regulation of Donating Embryos for Scientific Research and for the Infertility Treatment in Ukraine

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Sibilla Buletsa, Full prof., Dr.hab.of J.Sc. Natalia Kvit, Ass.Prof., Dr.hab.of J.Sc. Marija Mendzhul, Full prof., Dr.hab.of J.Sc.


The aim. The purpose of this study is based on a study of Ukrainian experience in the field of legal regulation of the use and donating of embryos in vitro for research purposes and infertility treatment, analyzing cases of European Court on human rights in this field, to suggest ways to fill the gaps in current legislation of Ukraine and bring it into line with international law.

The subject of the research was the legal regulation of donating embryos for scientific research and for the infertility treatment in Ukraine, which is an interesting experience for scientists from other countries, since Ukraine has become a candidate for European Union (EU) membership, and thus the peculiarities of the legal regulation of embryo donation in Ukraine will allow us to identify the positive and negative aspects of embryo donation and the possibility of conducting a comparative analysis with foreign regulation. In Ukraine, donation of gametes and embryos is a procedure according to which donors, with written voluntary consent, provide their reproductive cells-gametes (sperm, oocytes) or embryos for use in other persons within the treatment of infertility. The application of embryo donation is carried out according to medical indications, subject to the presence of written informed voluntary consent of the patients, ensuring the anonymity of the donor and maintaining medical secrecy. The study is based on an interdisciplinary approach to the analysis of the problem of legal protection of the embryo using dialectical, comparative legal, and systemic methods. The research used scientific developments in the field of problems of the legal status of the human embryo, international acts, the legislation of Ukraine, the practice of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Conclusion. The issue of legal protection of intellectual property rights, the object of which is the human genome, tissues or cells, is currently being hotly debated in the world. However, legal approaches to the possibility of patenting such objects can be divided into those that completely deny the patenting of the human genome, as well as other human tissues and cells, and those that cause such a process of certain restrictions of moral, ethical and legal nature, such as for example, the issue of ensuring the confidentiality of information about the person whose materials are being investigated. It seems that in view of the above practice of the ECHR, it would be appropriate to establish the possibility of free use of the results of such research, which would be in the interests of society and science.

Donors of embryos in Ukraine can be patients of the in vitro fertilization program, who have unused cryopreserved embryos left in the cryobank after the birth of a child. In case of fertilization of donor oocytes with donor sperm, their transfer into the recipient's uterine cavity or cryopreservation (with subsequent transfer in subsequent cycles) are possible. With the voluntary, informed, written consent of donor patients, these embryos may be used for donation to an infertile patient/recipient couple, as well as unmarried female recipients.

Assignment of embryos and embryo-fetal materials to the category of biological material does not mean that they are subject to the rules of property law, but they should be considered as special objects that are under state protection and are in close legal personal connection with the above mentioned persons, who are given the right to determine their future fate within the limits established by law. The right to dispose of embryos for research purposes may be granted by the woman and the man for whom the embryo was created, subject to informed consent and consent to the processing of personal data.

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How to Cite
BULETSA, Sibilla; KVIT, Natalia; MENDZHUL, Marija. Legal Regulation of Donating Embryos for Scientific Research and for the Infertility Treatment in Ukraine. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 10, n. 8, aug. 2022. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 07 oct. 2022. doi:
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