Abortion: Foetal Tissue

Department of Health written question – answered on 21st October 2015.

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Photo of Fiona Bruce Fiona Bruce Chair, International Development Sub-Committee on the Work of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact, Chair, International Development Sub-Committee on the Work of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether doctors performing surgical abortions are prohibited from altering the procedure (a) in order to maximise the amount or quality of fetal tissue obtained for research and (b) for other non-clinical reasons.

Photo of Fiona Bruce Fiona Bruce Chair, International Development Sub-Committee on the Work of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact, Chair, International Development Sub-Committee on the Work of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what procedures are in place to ensure that women agreeing to donate foetal tissue are not coerced, pressured or hurried into doing so and that they understand fully what it is that they are being asked to do.

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

In England and Wales, medical research using fetal tissue requires the consent of the woman who donates the tissue and is subject to the requirements of the Human Tissue Act 2004. It should be conducted in accordance with the Codes of Practice published by the Human Tissue Authority,which contain specific guidance on consent to the use of fetal tissue in Code of Practice 1, Consent.

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