A book addressing explosive medical technologies and accompanying medical challenges that may not be catered for by existing laws has been launched.
The Book co-authored by High Court Judge, Isaac Lenaola and Prof. Marion Mutugi-Deputy Vice Chancellor Kabianga University, addresses legal issues in the medical industry and how some of them raise ethical questions like surrogate mothers and the legal implications in such matters.
The book titled ‘Bioethics of medical advances and genetic manipulation’ looks at issues like sperm donation and how many times one can donate sperms.
Speaking on Wednesday evening during the book launch, Justice Lenaola said that the book has 20 chapters and addresses cloning, sex selection, HIV/Aids, surrogate mothers among emerging health issues that are rarely covered by the law.
He said the book also examines topics on infertility and assisted production technology.
“Women face many challenges in getting pregnant through natural means and so it is easy for us to assume that those who use surrogates find it easy for their child to grow in someone else’s womb. We are having difficulties on the issue of surrogates where we have a child whose parents are three and as a judge those issues have come to me at the courts”, he explained.
“We have women in the slums who use their wombs as houses for rent and in this country we need to have discussions on the compensation for these surrogates and avoiding the commercialization of reproduction”, posed the judge.
He continued, “While at the high court I toyed with the idea of writing a book about the new constitutional dispensation, human rights and longhorn publishers thank you for rejecting my manuscript but here I am and thank you for accepting this one.”
Prof. Mutugi said that the books looks at legal dilemmas that patients find themselves in and what legal rights they have.
“With my background in genetics, writing the book has been a seven year journey where I have learnt a lot of law but what I have realized is that we have many loopholes in our legislation and my challenge is to the Chief Justice since we need laws to cover the loopholes like for instance regulating the number of times one donates sperms which has been done by other nations,” said Mutugi.
The Chief Justice (CJ), David Maraga said |”we are getting to a point where as a country we must address the issue of transgender, homosexuality and their rights which are addressed in the book”.
The CJ said that Kenya must start looking at formulating laws which will address issue to do with homosexuality and lesbianism which most perceive to be from the western world and are taking shape in the country.
Maraga said that the book is a gallant interface between law and medicine especially in the areas of legal ethics like contraception, sterilization, euthanasia as well as genetic advances such as cloning and sex selection.
The CJ challenged parliament to come up with legislation to address the legal lacunae in the field of medical procedure.
The Longhorn Publishing Managing Director, Maxwell Wahome said that they are giving opportunity for upcoming authors by supporting production of quality stuff since many Kenyan are exposed to foreign books at the expense of local professionals.
“We want to change that so that Kenyans can read their stories, the book is already in a digital format and available on amazon,” said Wahome.
By Joseph Ng’ang’a