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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Parliamentary proposals for liberal approaches to assisted conception.

This paper summarizes the 2005 report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, which considered the 1990 Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Act and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) in the light of new developments in IVF and embryo research. It considers the report's recommendations as to future legislation concerning the legal status of the embryo, and regarding which forms of embryos should be used for reproductive purposes. It discusses the suggestion that the current obligation to consider the welfare of the child is unhelpful and that the case has not been made against using preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) for sex selection. It examines the report's recommendations concerning reform of the HFEA in the areas of its composition, inspection and licensing processes, and the suggestion that it make data on the uptake and success of IVF more readily available and encourage research into its social impact. It considers issues such as whether the HFEA has exceeded its remit and the need to compare international regulatory models and IVF practice. It explores the conflict the inquiry saw between the HFEA's role as regulator and policy maker, the recommendation that it merge its policy function with the Human Genetics Commission, and that a greater role be allotted to Parliament to consider the ethical dimension of new developments, while clinical decisions and technical standards are devolved to patients and practitioners.[1]


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