Assisted human reproduction - Italian Law N° 40/2004 - Rights - Embryo - Biorights. This article analyses the Parliamentary debate that led to Italian Law N° 40 of 2004 ("Rules governing medically assisted procreation"), identifying the legal reasoning employed to justify the rules contained in the law. This throws light on the focus on references to the (presumed) rights of the embryos and of the persons who may be born as a result of MAP, to the detriment of those of the aspiring parents. Special attention is devoted to topics focusing on the embryo’s status and rights and on the need to ensure that people who are born as a result of MAP have a "natural family". The concluding paragraph ventures some critical considerations about the topics that emerge from the reconstruction of the Parliamentary debate.