Having children is an existential dream for many people, says Professor Brigitte Leeners, a specialist in reproductive medicine and head of the Fertility Center at the UniversityHospital Zurich. Unlike in the past, infertility is no longer an inevitable fate. Techniques such as in-vitro fertilization allow biological hurdles to be overcome in many cases. Not only do these developments enable infertile heterosexual couples to have children, but they also help same-sex couples.
However, the achievements of reproductive medicine also raise social, ethical and legal questions. At the heart of the matter is the question, just because something is technically possible, does that mean we should do it? In the December UZH Magazin, we explore advances in reproductive medicine and discuss the associated challenges with UZH researchers from a range of disciplines. The new University Research Priority Program “Human Reproduction Reloaded”, led by legal scholar Andrea Büchler, also deals with such questions. Over the next eight years, the opportunities and risks of reproductive medicine will be analyzed and discussed as part of this major interdisciplinary project. Despite all the technology, “the creation of a child is and remains a miracle,” says Bruno Imthurn, a pioneer of reproductive medicine in Switzerland.
In addition, our new podcast, “Wer steckt dahinter”, produced by the UZH Magazin team, offers personal insights into the world of research. For this issue, medic Brigitte Leeners, legal scholar Andrea Büchler and psychologist Guy Bodenmann talk about what they are working on and what motivates them. Why not have a listen and practice your German? As usual, a large number of articles from the UZH Magazin are also available online in English.