British Fertility Society statement on the Parliament Select Committee report on IVF treatment
July 2002

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) decision to allow treatment in the Hashmi case has been criticized in a report published today by the Parliament Select Committee.

The Hashmi family were given permission by the HFEA, a body which regulates IVF treatment, to try to create a genetically engineered baby to help treat their child which sufferers from a rare genetic disorder.

The British Fertility Society supports the well established legal framework in the UK covering infertility treatment. This provides the most closely regulated practise of IVF in the world. Practitioners in the UK are required within this framework to assess the welfare of children that result from infertility treatment. Practitioners are also required under the regulatory framework to refer new techniques and cases involving pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to the HFEA for special consideration.

The Society believes that these regulations provide sufficient safeguards to public interest. It does however and indeed encourages public and professional debate on the wider ethical issues such as stem cell research and single parenting.