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BMA Urges Against Merging Fertility and Transplantation Regulatory Bodies

Although the HFEA and the HTA have similarities, there are vast differences in the areas they cover. The complex and sensitive issues that surround reproduction and embryo research are very different from the equally complex and sensitive issues that relate to the retention and use of organs and tissues after death.

The BMA is very concerned that the proposed new body will not be able to deal effectively with these two distinct and very sensitive areas of practice. It is hard to see how a single body can have the necessary knowledge and expertise to make important decisions relating to IVF, embryology, pathology, anatomy, storage of tissue, transplantation and public display of human material.

We recognise that the government is now intending to accept the principle of allowing some types of human-animal hybrid and chimera embryos. We are concerned that this does not extend to all types of hybrid embryos. We are also disappointed that this revised view is excluded from the current Draft Bill as published. We urge the government to include the provision for this research in the Bill itself and not make it merely subject to a regulation making power.

This draft bill raises a number of complex and sensitive issues. The BMA will look through the proposals in detail and respond fully.


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