UK fertility law received its last major update in 2008, with the concept of a ‘permitted embryo’ being introduced. These rules have ensured that radical new reproductive technologies – although they might be legitimate and permissible in research – cannot legally be used in treatment, until and unless a decision is made to change the law…
The UK Government has signaled that fertility law could be revised in the near future.
- Are there currently situations in which this area of law – or guidance relating to it – can be difficult to interpret?
- If the law is revised, should the concept of a ‘permitted embryo’ remain? If the concept remains, should it still be defined in the same way?
- Is there a case for permitting the clinical use of in vitro derived gametes – that is, sperm or eggs that have been created or matured in the laboratory?
- Is there a case for widening the approaches to mitochondrial donation that may legally be used in treatment?
- What issues are raised by the possibilities of genome editing? Is there a case for permitting the use of certain genome editing tools for purposes other than conventional genome editing?
- Some technologies in this area could potentially be used in vivo (inside the body) rather than in vitro (in a laboratory), in which case they would fall outside the scope of current fertility law. How should this be addressed?
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