Fertility Frontiers: What Is a 'Permitted' Embryo in Law?
By Antony Starza-Allen,
Progress Educational Trust
| 06. 13. 2022
The question of what is a 'permitted embryo' under the legislation governing assisted reproduction in the UK has received increasing scrutiny as technological progress challenges the concept of embryohood. As illustrated at Progress Educational Trust (PET)'s event, 'Fertility Frontiers: What Is a 'Permitted' Embryo in Law?', the answer is not solely concerned with the scope of what is permissible in assisted reproduction but goes to the very core of the UK's legislative approach to emerging reproductive technologies.
Introducing the debate, Sarah Norcross, director of PET, highlighted that while UK fertility law gives confidence and security during scientific change, the definition of an embryo, introduced under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Act 2008, is not fully scientifically aligned. Under the HFE Act 2008, an embryo for use in assisted reproduction must have been created by the fertilisation of an unaltered 'permitted egg' with a 'permitted sperm'. It must have no cells added to it from other sources or have its DNA altered (an exception exists for mitochondrial donation). Recent technological developments have, however, challenged... see more
"Human Egg" by euthman is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
In late April, the National Academies held a three-day workshop on In Vitro Derived Human Gametes as a Reproductive Technology
. Experts from a broad range of fields commented on the fast-developing science, its potential applications in assisted reproduction, and its social implications. Despite a focus on the significant technical challenges that remain in developing these techniques and the notable inclusion of several critical voices, the overall...
By Ian Sample, The Guardian | 05.09.2023
The first UK baby created with DNA from three people has been born after doctors performed a groundbreaking IVF procedure that aims to prevent children from inheriting incurable diseases.
The technique, known as mitochondrial donation treatment (MDT), uses tissue from...
By Carolyn Y. Johnson, The Washington Post | 04.28.2023
DACULA, Ga. — For as long as he can remember, Jimi Olaghere felt he was destined to be a father. “It’s so true in my soul,” he told his wife, Amanda, when they struggled to get pregnant. But when they...
By Kristine Thomason, Women's Health | 04.27.2023
At 22, Arianna W. was certain she wanted to freeze her eggs—one day.
It was 2016, and she was interning at Boston IVF Fertility Clinic, witnessing firsthand the spectrum of ways people were creating families. As a queer woman with...