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Embryology

Volume 712: debated on Monday 20 July 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures the Department of Health intends to take to address the recommendation of the Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee in its 21st Report (HL Paper 118) to keep the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Special Exemption) Regulations 2009 under review to ensure they maintain the policy intention in the light of technological developments. [HL4983]

The department monitors legislation through a variety of means, including by way of feedback from stakeholders. One of these stakeholders is the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which has specific functions to monitor developments in its field of interest and to advise Ministers as required. We will be in regular contact with the HFEA about the implementation and impact of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 and the related regulations.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what provisions there are in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 (as amended) for keeping and examining human admixed embryos in connection with the investigation of, or proceedings for, an offence under that Act. [HL4984]

Human admixed embryos must be held at a licensed centre if they are being kept, examined or stored in connection with the investigation of, or proceedings for, an offence under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 (as amended by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008).

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Special Exemption) Regulations 2009 do not permit human admixed embryos to be held at unlicensed premises in connection with such an investigation or procedure—as this was, unintentionally, not provided for in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008. If it were necessary for the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to keep a human admixed embryo in connection with a crime, it would need to be stored at licensed premises.