Of skin, sperm, and blood: A comparative analysis of exemptions in Canadian human tissue legislation

Across Canada, legislation about the sale of tissues varies widely. While Quebec, Ontario and Alberta restrict the sale of plasma, most other jurisdictions have legislation that exempts blood and blood products—as well as reproductive tissues—from provisions on sale. With the recent establishment of for-profit plasma banks in Saskatoon and Moncton, as well as calls to rescind federal prohibitions on the sale of sperm and eggs—new concerns about the expanding market in human tissues have emerged. This project interrogates the origins of tissue exemptions in Canada, identifying the discourses and arguments that led to their passage in provincial and territorial legislatures. Through a study of relevant legislation, legislative debates, minutes of relevant Uniform Law Conferences, media reports, and existing scholarship, it provides a comparative, analysis of the impetus for the varied tissues exemptions. In doing so, it reveals the historic intent of these exemptions, their contemporary status, and their relevance to current concerns about commercialization, including recommendations for potential harmonization and reform.
Principal Investigator / Supervisor
CATTAPAN, Alana
Co-Investigator(s) / Trainee
VON TIGERSTROM, Barbara NELSON, Eric DAWSON, Roseanne
Institution
University of Saskatchewan
Program
James Kreppner Award Program
Province
Saskatchewan
Total Amount Awarded
$43,275
Project Start Date
Project End Date
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