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Volume 712: debated on Wednesday 1 July 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that human embryos used in fertility treatments are not implanted into the wrong patient. [HL4337]

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that it has continually reviewed the effectiveness of its directions and guidance in consideration of information from incidents.

The guidance covers procedures within licensed treatment centres for witnessing critical points in clinical and laboratory practice, with the aim of minimising as far as possible the risk of errors occurring, such as the wrong gametes or embryos being used in a patient's treatment. Assessing the witnessing procedures used in clinics continues to be a focus of HFEA inspections.

All licensed centres are required to report any adverse incident that relates to the witnessing of clinical and laboratory practices. Where the HFEA receives a report, the incident is reviewed and followed up either by means of a further inspection or an investigation.