Embryo :: BMA response to the Joint Committee’s report on the draft Human Tissue and Embryos Bill

The BMA is delighted that the Joint Committee has said that the Government?s plans to merge the HFEA1 and the HTA2 to form one organisation, RATE3, are ill-conceived and should be rejected. The BMA has expressed serious concerns about this plan since it was first proposed, as part of the Government?s review of arms length bodies, in 2004.

The extent of opposition to this merger is overwhelming, with a large majority of the organisations giving evidence to the committee expressing profound reservations about the plan.4

Commenting on report by the Committee, the Head of BMA Science and Ethics, Dr Vivienne Nathanson, said:

?This is the first time that the Government?s plans have been subject to scrutiny and they have fallen at the first hurdle. The reason for this is that it makes no sense to merge these two very distinct and sensitive areas of regulation. The BMA does not believe that a single body can have the necessary expertise to make important decisions relating to IVF, embryology, pathology, anatomy, storage of tissue, transplantation and public display of human material. We are delighted that the Committee shares our views and we hope that the Government will abandon these flawed proposals.?

The BMA will read the report in detail before commenting fully on all the issues raised.

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