HFEA to come under fire
Dr Kirsty Horsey
Progress Educational Trust
17 July 2002
The UK parliament's Science and Technology Committee is due to publish a report this week on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which will condemn a number of the authority's recent actions.
The report is expected to say that the HFEA has 'usurped the powers of Parliament' and to recommend an urgent review of the 1990 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act, saying that a number of scientific developments have 'superseded the law as it stands'.
One of the decisions of the HFEA that will be questioned by the report is that which allowed a Leeds couple - the Hashmis - to use preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) in conjunction with tissue typing. The HFEA made the decision last year, which would allow the couple to 'create' a child who is a genetic match to their existing son who is terminally ill, and who can provide a bone marrow transplant for him.
Last week, Josephine Quintavalle, on behalf of the campaign group Comment on Reproductive Ethics, won the right to a judicial review of the HFEA's decision in the Hashmi case. She will apply for a ruling
that says the HFEA did not have the legal authority to licence a clinic to undertake such a procedure.
© Copyright Progress Educational Trust
Reproduced with permission from BioNews, an email and online sources of news, information and comment on assisted reproduction and genetics.
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