Select Committee on Science and Technology Second Report

Annex A


  The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 (Schedule 2 paragraph 3(2)) currently permits the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority to authorise research involving human embryos for the following purposes:

    (a)  promoting advance in the treatment of infertility;

    (b)  increasing knowledge about the causes of congenital disease;

    (c)  increasing knowledge about the causes of miscarriages;

    (d)  developing more effective techniques of contraception; and

    (e)  developing methods of detecting the presence of gene or chromosome abnormalities in embryos before implantation;

    subject to the HFEA being satisfied that any proposed use of embryos is necessary for the purposes of the research and that the embryo is not kept or used beyond 14 days. The Act provides for further research purposes to be added subject to an affirmative resolution of both Houses.

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