UK ponders fertility reforms

IVF debate foreshadows wider rethink of ethics regulation in Britain

Philip Hunter(phunter@philiphunter.com)
Mar 22, 2005

An influential committee of British politicians will advise tomorrow (March 24) that the government should allow couples to use in vitro fertilization (IVF) purely for sex selection, as part of a package of fertility regulation reforms.

The proposal from the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, revealed by a newspaper earlier this week, comes ahead of a wider reorganization of the way fertility science is regulated in the United Kingdom.

The proposal has stirred widespread debate and faces opposition even from within the committee itself, whose 10 members are split over the question of sex selection and other measures in the committee's report, which they deem to be part of an overhasty process of liberalization—particularly a reexamination of a ban on human reproductive cloning.

"I was one of the more vociferous of the five MPs against," Bob Spink, a member of the select committee, told The Scientist...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?