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About Other Countries' Policies & Human Biotechnology

The United Kingdom

Countries differ widely in the types of human biotechnologies they regulate, the jurisdiction of authority, the nature of enforcement, and other particulars. One requirement for effective policy is a government agency responsible for licensing and monitoring research and commercial facilities that work with human embryos. Frequently cited models are Canada's Assisted Human Reproduction Act and the United Kingdom’s Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA).

Many countries have considered prohibiting the most troubling applications: human reproductive cloning and inheritable genetic modification. To date, they are illegal in nearly 50 countries. Similar legislation is pending in other nations.

UK Womb Transplants: 5 Ethical Issuesby Rachael RettnerLive ScienceOctober 5th, 2015A new UK clinical trial would expose both patient and developing fetus to autoimmune suppressants, use uteruses from deceased donors, and require that clinical patients have a "long-term partner", even though alternatives to this radical new technology exist.
Ontario to Cover In-Vitro Fertilization Treatments[Canada]by Rob FergusonThe StarOctober 1st, 2015Health Minister Eric Hoskins’ announcement Thursday makes Ontario the second province to cover costly programs for what is increasingly seen as an important medical issue.
Womb transplants given UK go-aheadBBCSeptember 30th, 2015In 2016, 10 women will be chosen for an NHS-approved clinical trial to receive surgery to transplant a donated uterus, monitor organ acceptance for 1 year, and then initiate up to two IVF pregnancies before removing the transplant.
Gene-edited 'micropigs' to be sold as pets at Chinese instituteby David CyranoskiNature NewsSeptember 29th, 2015The pigs were originally engineered as models for human disease to test expensive drugs in smaller quantities, but the excitement for customizable pets may be serving as a distraction from synthetic biology's more pressing concerns and controversies.
Why the Majority of Sperm Donations in Canada Are from the U.S.[Canada]by Jim BrownCanadian Broadcasting CorporationSeptember 27th, 2015Only 5-10% of donated sperm in Canada is from domestic donors; the majority comes from US donors who – unlike their counterparts north of the border – are paid for their services.
Couples Left in Limbo as They Await Ontario IVF Funding Decision [Canada]by Elizabeth ChurchThe Globe and MailSeptember 25th, 2015In the spring of 2014, the Ontario government pledged to fund one cycle of IVF for citizens. Eighteen months later, couples struggling with infertility are still waiting to find out when and how that financial help will be delivered.
Considering CRISPR: Putting a thumb on the scale?by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesSeptember 24th, 2015The National Academies have announced the date for their International Summit on Human Gene Editing. Are some of the organizers trying to predetermine the outcome?
We Shouldn’t be Allowed to Choose our Children’s Sex[Australia]by Tamara Kayali BrowneThe Ethics CentreSeptember 16th, 2015Sex selection is a product of, and perpetuates, false assumptions about gender that keep men and women “in their places.”
As Ontario Set to Roll Out IVF program, Panel Urges Those Older than 42, Severely Obese be Excluded[Canada]by Tom BlackwellNational PostSeptember 14th, 2015The recommendations are aimed at avoiding the cost overruns that doomed a similar plan for government funding of IVF in Quebec.
Genetic testing firms in China happy to sell your DNA secretsby Staff ReporterWant China TimesSeptember 10th, 2015As 23andMe strikes a slew of pharma and biotech deals, it's an open secret that sequencing companies can't make money on tests, but rely on the value of big bio data to drug developers.
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