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Lord Alton of Liverpool (Crossbench)

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 23 June 2010 (WA 182-3) regarding the use of human oocytes in research projects, whether the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority permitted the use under research licence R0122 of a primary oocyte from a patient treated between 23 and 27 September 2004 who had seemingly refused consent to participate in this project; and how the patient information and consent forms for research licence R0122 described to patients how their oocytes would be used in this project.

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Lord Alton of Liverpool (Crossbench)

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Baroness Thornton on 19 January 2010 (WA 225) and by Earl Howe on 23 June 2010 (WA 182-83), when the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) authorised the creation of embryos under research licence R0122; what was the intended use of any embryos under this licence; how the use of embryos might have been deemed to be necessary or desirable if eggs could have been used for the same purposes; and under what circumstances a centre would be expected to report details to the HFEA of research involving hundreds of eggs but no embryos.

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Earl Howe (Conservative)

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that it has nothing further to add to the Written Answer I gave on 23 June 2010 (Hansard, col. WA 182-83). The HFEA has also advised that if a patient were to report to the authority such a case as described by the noble Lord, the matter would be investigated in accordance with its complaints procedure.

The HFEA has advised that research approved by its Licence Committee is, on each occasion, considered against the criteria prescribed in Paragraph 3A of Schedule 2 to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, as amended. The HFEA is not in a position to add to that consideration.

The HFEA's statutory responsibility with regard to research is also set out in the Act. The HFEA has advised that as this covers only the use of human embryos in research, in no circumstance would a centre be expected to report to the authority research that did not involve human embryos.

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