Embryology

House of Lords written question – answered on 23rd June 2009.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 9 March (WA 204—5) and 3 June (WA 87—8), how a "live human embryo" is defined in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 (as amended); whether that should be interpreted as an embryo that is neither dead nor a member of another species; and, if not, how it has been interpreted by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority.

Photo of Lord Darzi of Denham Lord Darzi of Denham Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Health, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health)

The department takes the view that the term "live human embryo", as it will appear in subsection 1(1)(a) of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 (1990 Act) from 1 October 2009, when the amendments made by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 come into effect, would not include dead human embryos or embryos of another species.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority advises that it has nothing to add to the definition set out in subsection 1(1)(a) of the 1990 Act, as amended.

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