Human embryos may lose legal protection, UK fertility watchdog claims
Antony Blackburn-Starza, Progress Educational Trust
12 January 2011
The chair of the UK's fertility regulator has said a principle governing how human embryos are used in research may be undermined by proposed changes to UK research governance. Professor Lisa Jardine warned the ''safeguarding of the 'special status of the embryo'' could be lost if the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA)'s power to grant licences for embryo research is transferred to a centralised body. The HFEA is at risk of being scrapped or amalgamated under UK Government proposals.
The safeguards prevent researchers using embryos in trivial or non-vital research due to ethical considerations. Professor Jardine said about her claim the safeguards could be lost: 'I very much doubt that the general public, let alone those groups who are fundamentally opposed to such research on moral grounds, would wish to see this happen without full debate'.
© Copyright 2008 Progress Educational Trust
Reproduced from BioNews with permission, a web- and email-based source of news, information and comment on assisted reproduction and human genetics, published by Progress Educational Trust.
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