Dark Angel*, Here We Come
New fertility laws say dads not needed to make babies
This is London magazine, from the Evening Standard
A major relaxation of IVF rules was announced by ministers today.
The changes will make it easier for single people and lesbians to receive fertility treatment on the NHS.
The move, which is part of a shake-up of laws on the use of human tissues, will also allow the creation of "Frankenstein" embryos - human and animal cells mixed together - for medical research. [British scientists have applied for permission to produce embryos that would be 99.9 per cent human and 0.1 per cent animal].
Under current laws, fertility clinics have to consider the baby's need for a father before providing treatment. But today's draft Human Tissue and Embryos Bill says this is no longer necessary.
The draft legislation bans couples from choosing the gender of their child. It also tightens the law on screening embryos for diseases, a subject of heated ethical debate as it could lead to parents aborting potentially unhealthy babies and see insurance companies refusing people with a genetic illness. [...]
Other measures in the draft legislation include:
• Banning couples from choosing the gender of their baby.
• Couples in same sex civil partnerships should have equal rights as parents in traditional marriages.
• The regulation of internet sperm services.
• Tightening of laws on screening embryos for genetic diseases.
• Allow donor conceived children to find out if they have donor conceived siblings.
The Government is also recommending a change to the rules over the use of frozen sperm and the issue of withdrawal of consent.
Via Robert Roy Britt at the LiveScience blog.
Allowing single gals to get fertility treatments is good, regulating "internet sperm services", (whatever those might be), sounds like a really good idea, and mixing human and other animal (or even plant) genes is inevitable.
Allowing donor-conceived children to find out if they have donor-conceived siblings seems like it'll do more harm than good. Who cares if your biological father (or mother), whom you've never known, is also the father of other children ?
Maybe it's to make it easy to find potential tissue donors, should the need arise.
Trying to bar couples from choosing their child's gender, when using IVF, or from choosing not to bear defective children, is ludicrous. Is it the intention of the NHS to promote foreign abortions ?
* A short-lived post-apocalyptic science-fiction television show, starring Jessica Alba as a genetically-modified, part-big-cat super-soldier who rebels. I loved the opening sequence - a shabby Seattle, Alba standing on a dark Space Needle, dressed in black spandex & leather...