Law and religion round-up – 26th March

A week in which events were totally overshadowed by the attack in Westminster

A thoughtful consideration of those events from an insider’s point of view was presented by the Rt Revd Nick Baines, Bishop of Leeds, in his Yorkshire Post article From a Palace of democracy to an Abbey of prayer, the best and worst of humanity, written just two hours after the end of the lockdown of parliamentarians and others, who had been transferred to Westminster Abbey.

Progress on Brexit

Prior to the Commons consideration of the Pension Schemes Bill [Lords] and the subsequent adjournment and lockdown of the parliamentary estate, a first reading was given to Tim Farron’s Ten Minute Rule Bill, Terms of Withdrawal from the European Union (Referendum). A second reading was scheduled for Friday 12 May – although its chances of becoming law are zero. Continue reading

“Three-parent babies” in UK from 2018?

Further progress towards the application of mitochondrial donation

Following the 15 December announcement by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) that it had approved “the cautious use of mitochondrial donation in treatment, we posted Three-parent babies” in UK from 2017?” The HFEA has now announced that it has granted the first UK licence to the team at the Newcastle Fertility at Life , which indicated that, realistically, Continue reading

“Three-parent babies” in UK from 2017?

Progress towards the application of mitochondrial donation

Following the 15 December announcement by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) that it had approved “the cautious use of mitochondrial donation in treatment”, we reviewed the progress since our October 2015 post, “Three-parent babies” in UK from today? and the further steps that are necessary before mitochondrial donation can is finally applied in practice in the UK. Continue reading

Mitochondrial donation approved in UK law

The draft Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Mitochondrial Donation) Regulations 2015 are now part of UK law. The Regulations were subject to the affirmative procedure and therefore required formal approval from both Houses of Parliament. Following the Commons vote 382 to 128 in favour, [3 Feb 2015 Vol 592(104) Col 160], it was the turn of the House of Lords, and the SI was approved following the rejection of Lord Deben’s “fatal amendment” by 280 to 48, [24 Feb 2015 Vol 759(106) Col 1569].

Introducing the draft Regulations, Continue reading

MPs debate “Three-person IVF” (again)

On Monday 1 September, MPs took part in the debate Mitochondrial Replacement (Public Safety), scheduled by the Backbench Business Committee and led by Fiona Bruce, (Congleton, Con).  The introduction of Regulations to permit the selective use of mitochondrial transfer was discussed in the Westminster Hall debate on 12 March 2014, reported here, where for the government, Jane Ellison, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, confirmed that that the regulations will be subject to the affirmative procedure and will be debated it in full on the Floor of the House.

However, neither debate forms part of the formal process of introducing the necessary Regulations under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, a draft version of which is included as Annex B to the Department of Health consultation.  The Government response to the consultation was published in July 2014 and states: Continue reading