Challenges of medical travel to global regulation: A case study of reproductive travel in Asia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


This article explores the challenges medical travel poses for the development and implementation of health regulation in Asia. Cross-border reproductive travel in Asia is used to exemplify some of the ethical, legal and regulatory complexities such travel poses. A number of countries in the region lack regulatory frameworks regarding controversial procedures such as preimplantation genetic diagnosis for sex selection, commercial donor and surrogacy procedures to ensure protections for donors and surrogates or children born of such procedures. The particular challenge of reproductive travel arises when people travel for services because they wish to undertake a treatment requiring the embodied services or biological materials of other people in ways that are not legal or considered unethical in their home country. The final part of the article examines prospects for a global response towards the regulation of such trade. Such a response will require cooperation across sectors, international government organizations, state, and non-state actors to deal with the transnational interdependence it involves and to protect the rights of vulnerable groups. The challenge is to determine the mechanisms for regulating the trade, as well as the basis upon which global regulation is undertaken. (c) The Author(s) 2010.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396 - 415
Number of pages20
JournalGlobal Social Policy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

Cite this