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ABSTRACT: Although France has just acquired a third generation bioethics law, the convention on bioethics that was held in the spring of 2009, as well as all the reports drawn up in France with a view to revising the 2004 bioethics law, raise questions about the process by which bioethics norms are formed. This is a consideration of the formation of the norm and its content. As for the formation of the norm, since the early 1980s, it can be seen that in France there has been a study of the place of the bioethic norm in the hierarchy of positive law. While the legislator's intervention was delayed in 1988 (in particular by the Braibant report), 2008 saw questions about the place of the Constitution in the process. Although the rl61e of the legislator emerged consolidated, at the same time the participation of the citizens by means of the convention is seen to be reinforced. The place of agencies, in particular the bioethics agency created in 2004, also has a great impact on the production of norms. Next, as far as the content is concerned, the debates on biomedical ethics for the last 30 years seem curiously to keep raising the same questions (post-mortem insemination, surrogate motherhood, presumed consent to organ donation...). This recurrence is interesting. Why can't France, or rather the French, manage to answer these questions once and for all? While our neighbours, in particular the United Kingdom and Spain, behave more serenely in this area (eg the giving up of anonymity for donated gametes in the UK), France is perpetually questioning, caught between the need to follow the evolution of our neighbours' norms and maintaining our more conservative position. On this point too the Convention and the life of the biomedicine agency make it possible to take stock of French social values which are growing stronger as the years go by. It is then tempting to draw a parallel with the founding texts of the French republic, and particularly the declaration of human rights in 1789 in order to find the place of man.Journal international de bioéthique = International journal of bioethics 03/2012; 23(1):27-40, 100-1.