Embryo :: UK Government publish response to Scrutiny Committee report on Human Tissue and Embryos bill

UK Public Health Minister Dawn Primarolo set out the way ahead for the Human Tissue and Embryology (HTE) bill by publishing the Government’s response to the Scrutiny Committee report on the bill. The bill represents a major overhaul of the law on assisted human reproduction and embryo research.

Measures contained in the bill include a total ban on sex selection for non-medical reasons, explicit rules for embryo screening, and more scope for embryo research.

However a proposed new Regulatory Authority for Tissue and Embryos (RATE) to replace the existing regulators the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and the Human Tissue Authority (HTA), has now been dropped after consultation with stakeholders.

The revised bill also rejects the Scrutiny Committee’s suggestion of putting “by donor” on birth certificates of children.

The key measures of the revised bill are:

* ensuring that all human embryos outside the body – whatever the process used in their creation – are subject to regulation
* a ban on sex selection for non-medical reasons
* regulation of inter-species embryos – allowing them under HFEA license
* recognition of same-sex parents as legal parents, and
* retaining the duty to take account of the ‘welfare of the child’ in providing fertility treatment, but removing the reference to ‘the need for a father’.

Dawn Primarolo said:

“The UK is a world leader and a good place to do research. This bill will allow legitimate medical and scientific use of human reproductive technologies for research to flourish in this country, while giving the public confidence that they are being used and developed sensibly with appropriate controls in place.

“The process of pre-legislative scrutiny has allowed parliament and interested parties the chance to debate these issues before the final bill is laid. We have been deliberately open-minded on these complex issues as we wanted to get the legislation right. Having now discussed these issues with parliament and interested parties I believe we are creating legislation that will provide clarity and assurance to patients, researchers, the medical profession, and the public for years to come.”


Embryo :: UK Government publish response to Scrutiny Committee report on Human Tissue and Embryos bill
by ( Author at Spirit India )
Posted on at 2:20 pm.
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