UK law 'threatens research'

Research bodies worry a draft bill on human tissue use could stifle vital science

Stephen Pincock(Stephen@thescientisteurope.com)
Jan 26, 2004

Medical research in the United Kingdom could be seriously harmed by draft legislation governing the use of human tissues unless key changes are made, the Medical Research Council (MRC) and others have warned.

The Human Tissue Bill, which is under consideration in Parliament this year, aims to set out ethical safeguards for medical researchers using human tissues. It came about after a series of scandals rocked the United Kingdom in recent years, centered on the removal and use of children's organs after death without proper consent.

But the Medical Research Council and other funders of research say important issues need to be clarified during the bill's examination by a standing committee of politicians, a process that began today (January 27).

“Some parts of the scientific community are concerned that the Human Tissue Bill will stifle science, but with clarifications at the committee stage, we believe that enshrining in law...

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