Embryology

House of Lords written question – answered on 12th November 2010.

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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 Earl Howe on 13 October (WA 73-4) regarding the proposed Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) consultation on donation policies, how information available on the authority's website (http://www.hfea.gov.uk/3411.html) provides evidence of obstacles to donation subsequent to the removal of donor anonymity.

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 13 October (WA 73-4) regarding the proposed Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) consultation on donation policies, whether the HFEA can explain why more women than men have donated gametes since 1997, in light of the greater invasiveness in obtaining eggs.

To ask Her Majesty's Government how the reports of interviews with donors conducted on behalf of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), the results of a public opinion poll commissioned by the HFEA that was conducted by IPSOS Mori, or the experience of Cryos-International Sperm Bank (as communicated to the HFEA), suggest that significantly increasing payment to those providing gametes might alleviate perceived shortages, as described in the Guardian on 23 August 2010.

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Darzi of Denham on 22 October 2008 (WA 109) and Lord Drayson on 10 March 2010 (WA75), to what extent a growing demand for eggs might relate to the demands of human cloning research; why the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority chair is considering a move towards the Spanish system of payment for eggs; and whether any British representatives attempted to influence the legalisation of human embryo cloning in Spain as in Australia.

Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that the web page cited does no more than provide information about the numbers of new sperm and egg donors registered in each year from 1992 to 2008.

Issues related to gamete donation will be discussed in a HFEA public consultation to be published in the new year. That consultation will include issues that may have an impact on the availability of donor-assisted conception treatment. The HFEA expects to reach a decision on the content of that consultation at its meeting in December.

On the question of why more women than men have donated gametes since 1997, the HFEA has advised that it has nothing further to add to my written reply of 13 October 2010 (Hansard, col. WA 73).

The Government have no view as to how a growing demand for eggs might relate to the demands of human cloning research. The nature of legislation in Spain or Australia on this issue is entirely a matter for those respective Governments.

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