On occasion, British in vitro fertilization practitioners look over the ocean to the practice of IVF and embryo research in the United States, wonder why these areas are subject to less regulation than in the United Kingdom, and ask how much less risky and more progressive IVF and embryo research might be if subject to additional federal, or at least state, regulation. To an American audience, imbued with the centuries-old spirit of independence, regulation and autonomy can seem in tension. From a British perspective, there is no necessary conflict. There is no dissent in the United Kingdom from the proposition that individual activities, services, and industries can be regulated and, at the same time, retain and exercise such autonomy as is their right within a safe sphere. From 1994 to 2002, I was the chair of the United Kingdom’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, which regulates the practice of IVF and embryo research. The existence of the HFEA assures patients that safety and aspects of the practice of assisted reproduction are monitored, leaving them free to choose without worrying about danger, in the same way that the public may take only those drugs that have passed health and safety tests. I would propose that anxious and vulnerable patients do not have more autonomy in a less regulated, market-driven field.