In Vitro Fertilisation

Health written question – answered on 12th February 2014.

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Photo of Sir David Amess Sir David Amess Conservative, Southend West

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he has (a) taken and (b) plans to take in the next 12 months against IVF clinics which have destroyed embryos in error without patient consent; how many incidences of such destruction of embryos have occurred in each of the last five years; what action was taken under section 17(1)(c) of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The regulation of in vitro fertilisation clinics in the United Kingdom is the responsibility of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, as amended. The HFEA requires staff at licensed fertility clinics to report adverse incidents and near misses that happen at their clinic. The HFEA then investigates the causes and ensures the clinic involved puts measures in place to prevent the same error happening again.

We have asked the HFEA to write to the hon. Member to provide details on the number incidences of embryos destroyed in error without patient consent, in each of the last five years. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library.

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