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Issue 926 (13 November 2017)

 

Welcome to BioNews by email, published by the Progress Educational Trust, providing you with news, comment and reviews on genetics, assisted conception, embryo/stem cell research and related areas.

Visit the BioNews website at www.bionews.org.uk where you can subscribe for free to receive BioNews by email in one of three formats, and search the archive of more than 6,000 articles.

 

 

CONTENTS

Comment

News Digest

Reviews

 


 

FILM: Life after Death - A Woman's Victory in Having Her Deceased Husband's Children

13 November 2017

By BioNews

Appeared in BioNews 926

This film documents the Progress Educational Trust/University of Sheffield event 'Life after Death: A Woman's Victory in Having Her Deceased Husband's Children', which was supported by the Wellcome Trust.

The event marked 20 years since widow Diane Blood won the legal right to conceive a child using the sperm of her deceased husband Stephen Blood, and reunited some of the people at the centre of this landmark legal case - including Diane herself, and her son Liam.

(If you cannot see the film below, click here to view it.)


Introductions
0:00:00 Professor Allan Pacey
Trustee, Progress Educational Trust
0:01:17 Sarah Norcross
Director, Progress Educational Trust

Speaker panel
0:07:15 Diane Blood
Fought a legal battle to be able to conceive a child using her deceased husband's sperm
0:13:16 Ian Cooke
Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Sheffield, and key member of Diane Blood's medical team
0:20:40 Michael Fordham QC
Barrister at Blackstone Chambers, and key member of Diane Blood's legal team
0:38:23 Liam Blood
Son of Diane Blood and the late Stephen Blood

Discussion
0:57:34 Audience contributions

Close
1:21:21 Professor Allan Pacey
Trustee, Progress Educational Trust

SOURCES & REFERENCES

RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE

30 October 2017 - by Professor Eric Blyth 
A public event held on 24 October 2017 at the University of Sheffield by the Progress Educational Trust...
18 September 2017 - by Shaoni Bhattacharya 
An Australian court is considering whether a woman can use her dead partner's sperm to have a baby...
31 October 2016 - by Sarah Norcross 
The Progress Educational Trust's event on preserving fertility was held in Edinburgh on 25 October...
04 July 2016 - by Emma Nottingham 
The case of Samantha Jeffries - a widow who is trying to save the embryos she created with her husband before his death - holds lessons both for fertility clinics and for the HFEA...
03 September 2012 - by Dr Victoria Burchell 
A woman has called for legal changes to prevent a man from donating his sperm without his wife's consent....


 

Why germline genome editing may be discriminatory

13 November 2017

By Dr Calum MacKellar

Calum MacKellar is director of research for the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics.

Appeared in BioNews 926

On the 20th anniversary of the 1997 European Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine (Oviedo Convention), the Council of Europe Committee on Bioethics organised an international conference entitled 'Relevance and Challenges' last month in Strasbourg, France.

At this meeting, delegates discussed the reasons behind Article 13 of this convention, which prohibits intentional germline procedures. Article 13 indicates that:

'An intervention seeking to modify the human genome may only be undertaken for preventive, diagnostic or therapeutic purposes and only if its aim is not to introduce any modification in the genome of any descendants.'(1)

This means, according to paragraph 91 of the Explanatory Report to this convention, that:

'Interventions seeking to introduce any modification in the genome of any descendants are prohibited. Consequently, in particular genetic modifications of spermatozoa or ova for fertilisation are not allowed.'(2)

During the event, there was repeated questioning of how the fundamental equality in worth of all human beings could be protected if Article 13 was deleted or amended. However, no clear answer was given.

This was unfortunate because the selection of future human beings, based on their possible quality of life, is at the very core of germline procedures. For example, when a one-cell embryo, or sperm and egg cells before they are used in conception, are edited, a new individual who would not otherwise have existed is being brought into being. Indeed, any change, no matter how small, to the variables in the creation of an individual results in a very different person coming into existence.(3) In other words, with most germline procedures one is not treating someone who exists, but making sure only certain persons, and not others, are brought into existence.

This is the important non-identity dilemma which has not really been addressed, to any extent, by any of the wide-ranging reports studying the ethical consequences of genome editing, such as the one prepared in 2017 by the US National Academies of Sciences and Medicine.(4) However, this dilemma needs to be addressed since making sure that only certain kinds of children are brought into existence, based on their possible quality of life, may also suggest that there is such a thing as a 'life unworthy of life' in society.

Of course, it is possible to argue, as does the 2017 US Academies' report, that 'unconditional love for a disabled child once born and respect for all people who are born with or who develop disabilities are not incompatible with intervening to avert disease and disability prior to birth or conception'.(4)

But that report does not explain how or why any deliberate selective discrimination can be seen as acceptable before birth or conception while suddenly becoming unacceptable when a person is present.(5)

As the Dutch ethicist Hans Reinders at the Free University of Amsterdam argues: 'In any given case, the only reasonable answer to the question of why a disabled child should not be born is by reference to what one thinks about the lives of people living with the same disorder.'(6)

This means that if parents decide not to have a child with a serious genetic disorder based solely on genetic reasons and not other factors, such as a lack of societal support for disability in a country, there is a very real sense that they are doing so because they would prefer one possible future child over another. In other words, this decision contradicts the important principle that the lives of all human beings have the same worth and value, regardless of their state of health.(7)

It is also inevitable that the indirect message being given with such a view is that had one known, with hindsight, that someone was going to be affected by a certain kind of disability then one would have selected to create another individual. This, however, can clearly be considered discriminatory and would undermine the inherent equality in value of all persons in society.

To be sure, a lot has already been written about this objection, called the 'expressivist argument'.(8) What is more, for some people, including a number of individuals affected by disability, this message may not be problematic. But for others, it may be seen as extremely offensive and discriminatory.(9) It is, moreover, no answer to simply state that these people are misguided or mistaken in being offended by such a message. 

More fundamentally, it is only possible to select between persons, including possible future persons, on purely genetic reasons if all ethical reasoning is reduced to consequentialist perspectives. 

But the Council of Europe does not do this. Instead, it recognises the equality of value and worth of every human life, regardless of whether it is short and difficult or long and pleasurable. This is one of the founding principles of the Council of Europe. Accordingly, if all persons, including all possible future persons, are considered to be fundamentally equal in value and worth, how can a choice between any of them ever be made?

This also means that Article 13 cannot be amended or only a moratorium on germline procedures accepted, without undermining the radical equality between all human beings, which is the very basis of civilised society.

The Council of Europe must, therefore, continue to uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948, which recognises in its preamble that 'the inherent dignity and...equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world'. 

RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE

13 November 2017 - by Rachel Siden 
Members of Canada's Stem Cell Network have called for the country to re-examine its laws banning genome editing research on the human germline...
02 October 2017 - by Sandy Starr 
What do patients and laypeople think and know about genome editing and its implications? What are the best ways for experts and others to discuss genome editing in public, so as to improve public understanding and avoid confusion? The Progress Educational Trust has set out to answer these questions, with its 'Basic Understanding of Genome Editing' project....
21 August 2017 - by Giulia Cavaliere 
Picture this - it's the last day in the office before the summer holidays, you're looking forward to some sunshine and warmth, email auto-response set, and all ready to go. Then, all of a sudden: the news...


 

FDA to streamline path for direct-to-consumer genetic testing

13 November 2017

By Jamie Rickman

Appeared in BioNews 926

The US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) is set to further deregulate direct-to-consumer genetic tests, meaning that some will be approved for market without a pre-market review.

Genetic health risk tests (GHRs) provide information about a person's risk for developing certain conditions with genetic risk factors, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, by testing DNA from a small saliva sample. Such tests will now get to market quicker and will not be assessed on a product-by-product basis.

Deregulation and growth of this market could bring opportunities for developing genetic tests for other conditions and diseases, providing even more information to consumers which could help them make better informed health and lifestyle choices said the FDA.

'In its consideration of GHR tests, the FDA seeks to strike a balance that provides an efficient pathway to bring these test to consumers, without sacrificing the assurances offered by FDA oversight,' said a statement from the authority.

Prior to 2017 the FDA had banned GHRs assessing personal disease risk, only carrier screening tests for certain inherited genetic diseases were approved. This was due to concerns about the accuracy of GHRs and the risk that consumers could be misled.

'The accelerated development of these innovative DTC genetic risk tests paired with the known safety considerations presents unique challenges to FDA regulation,' said Dr Scott Gottlieb, FDA commissioner. 'These technologies don't fit squarely into our traditional risk-based approach to device regulation.'

However, in April this year a 'de novo classification order', devised to establish the safety and accuracy of GHRs, was used for the first time to approve a GHR test made by the company 23andMe (see BioNews 896). Since then products have been assessed individually according to these standards.

The new regulatory model suggested by the FDA is based on the 'Pre-Cert Pilot Program' designed for digital health technologies. In this model the technology developer rather than a specific product is reviewed. For example, further products developed by 23AndMe can now bypass pre-market review since their technology has already been approved.

The FDA announcement is a 'notice of its intent', and once finalised it means that GHRs will be exempted from pre-market review under certain conditions.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
STAT | 06 November 2017
 
PharmaPhorum | 09 November 2017
 
US Food & Drug Administration | 06 November 2017
 

RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE

27 November 2017 - by Theofanis Michailidis 
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is taking an active stance against the use of 'do it yourself' gene therapy kits...
20 November 2017 - by Martha Henriques 
The US Food and Drug Administration has announced a fast-track review process for gene therapies and other regenerative medicine treatments...

10 April 2017 - by Jamie Rickman 
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the first genetic test to estimate an individual's risk of disease that can be sold directly to consumers...
14 December 2015 - by Andelka M. Phillips 
There is now a huge range of direct-to-consumer genetic tests on the market, but the public ought to be wary of what exactly they are agreeing to when they sign up for these services...
16 November 2015 - by Lone Hørlyck 
The US Food and Drug Administration has sent warning letters to three gene-testing companies over the marketing and selling of what it claims are direct-to-consumer gene testing products without its approval...
22 October 2015 - by Julianna Photopoulos 
Genetic testing company 23andMe is relaunching its direct-to-consumer genetic tests in the USA, after receiving approval from the US Food and Drug Administration...


 

Canadian scientists call for end to criminal ban on germline genome-editing

13 November 2017

By Rachel Siden

Appeared in BioNews 926

Members of Canada's Stem Cell Network have called for the country to re-examine its laws banning genome editing research on the human germline.

At present in Canada there is a maximum prison sentence of 10 years or a fine of up to CA$500,000 (£300,000) for editing human embryos, or egg or sperm cells.

Canadian policy has been to shut down discussion of germline gene editing, said Stem Cell Network member Professor Bartha Knoppers, director of the Centre of Genomics and Policy at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

'We need to start to talk,' Professor Knoppers said at the Till & McCulloch Meetings, a stem cell and regenerative medicine conference, the National Post reported.

All editing of the human germline – including non-clinical research on human embryos that will not be implanted – has been prohibited in Canada since the Assisted Human Reproduction Act of 2004. It was established in the context of public concerns about cloning research. However, the speakers argued that these concerns have been exaggerated, and are not about basic research.

'It's a human reproduction law, it was never meant to ban and slow down and restrict research,' said Dr Vardit Ravitsky, a bioethicist from the University of Montreal, also at the conference. 'It's a sort of historical accident…and now our hands are tied.'

In a statement earlier this year, Professor Knoppers, Dr Ravitsky and colleagues argued that the Canada's policy must be revisited, due to a shift in public perceptions and the potential applications of the technology.

In the statement, the researchers proposed that non-clinical germline genome editing should be allowed in Canada. They also argued that criminalisation is not a suitable form of regulation for scientific research, and that the justification for the current policy should be re-examined. Lastly, they proposed that possible clinical applications of germline genome editing should be considered with a 'principled and pragmatic approach'.

At the conference, Professor Knoppers encouraged the Canadian government's department of health, Health Canada, to begin public consultations on the proposals.


The latest developments in genome editing will be discussed at the session 'What Next for Genome Editing? Politics and the Public', at the Progress Educational Trust's upcoming public conference 'Crossing Frontiers: Moving the Boundaries of Human Reproduction'.

The conference is taking place in London on Friday 8 December 2017. Full details - including sessions, speakers and how to book your place - can be found here.

SOURCES & REFERENCES
National Post | 08 November 2017
 
Regenerative Medicine | 05 January 2017
 

RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE

13 November 2017 - by Dr Calum MacKellar 
On the 20th anniversary of the of the 1997 European Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine (Oviedo Convention), the Council of Europe Committee on Bioethics organised an international conference entitled ‘Relevance and Challenges’ last month in Strasbourg, France...

21 August 2017 - by Giulia Cavaliere 
Picture this - it's the last day in the office before the summer holidays, you're looking forward to some sunshine and warmth, email auto-response set, and all ready to go. Then, all of a sudden: the news...
03 July 2017 - by Annabel Slater 
'This technology really gets the imagination going. It's almost anything that you could imagine wanting to control at the level of genetics, is now in principle within reach.' And the power to control evolution raises important questions of responsibility. This is the message of Professor Jennifer Doudna...
31 October 2016 - by Jennifer Willows 
The Nuffield Council on Bioethics presented its preliminary report 'Genome editing: an ethical review' in the genteel surroundings of the Royal Geographical Society in South Kensington...


 

Sick boy gets healthy new skin with genetically-altered stem cells

13 November 2017

By Paul Waldron

Appeared in BioNews 926

A boy with a rare skin disease has been successfully treated by replacing most of his skin with grafts of stem cells modified by gene therapy.

The Seven year old patient had severe epidermis bullosa (EB) which made his skin brittle, blistered, and prone to life-threatening infections. A team led by Professor Michele de Luca at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Italy, treated the boy and reported their study in Nature.

'This is one of these [studies] that can determine where the future of the field is going to go,' said Dr Jakub Tolar, at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, to Science.

The boy's condition was due to a mutation in the laminin beta 3 gene (LAMB3). The researchers took a biopsy from an unblistered area of the patient's skin, and grew it over scaffolds in the laboratory to generate sheets of replacement skin: a well-known technique often used to treat burns patients. In this case however, retroviruses were used to insert a healthy copy of the LAMB3 gene into the cells before growing the sheets and grafting them to the patient's limbs, flanks and back.

This successfully replace 80 percent of the patient's skin, and after almost two years, the skin in the grafted areas remains strong and elastic. 'He hasn't developed a single blister,' Professor de Luca told The Atlantic. 'He's gaining weight. He's playing sports. He's got a normal social life.'

In the report, the researchers note that although attempts have been made to treat EB in similar ways, these treated such small areas that the patients' quality of life were not improved to the same extent.

Although the researchers noted that the same approach would not be possible with all EB patients, they hold that there are insights to be had for the treatment of similar conditions.

For example, they saw that the replacement skin was maintained by the presence of pools of long-lived and successfully repaired stem cells called holoclones. These holoclones can reproduce themselves and also produce progenitor cells which generate mature skin cells.

'Hence, the essential feature of any cultured epithelial graft is the presence (and preservation) of an adequate number of holoclone-forming cells,' wrote the authors.

RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE

11 December 2017 - by Emma Laycock 
An efficient method to collect amniotic fluid rich in stem cells during caesarean sections has been developed by scientists in Sweden...
20 November 2017 - by Jennifer Willows 
A new clinical trial in California marks the first time that genome editing has been used inside the body, rather than on cells such as blood or skin which can be extracted, edited outside the body, and then replaced...

30 October 2017 - by Dr Rachel Huddart 
A new molecular tool to change individual letters in an RNA sequence may open up new possibilities for gene therapy...
30 October 2017 - by Jennifer Willows 
NICE has approved a gene therapy for children with a rare disorder that leaves them with no functioning immune system...
16 October 2017 - by Helen Robertson 
Scientists have created the most versatile stem cells to date, which could boost research into the reasons behind failed early pregnancies...


 

BRCA screening could prevent 1000 cases of breast cancer a year

13 November 2017

By Dr Loredana Guglielmi

Appeared in BioNews 926

Researchers have introduced new criteria to screen for BRCA mutations that could prevent more than 10,000 cases of breast cancer and save more than 2000 lives in the next decade.

A team at the Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in London found that the number of women eligible for the BRCA genetic test would rise from current 12,000 a year to 27,000 a year.

Existing NHS guidelines are based on family history of cancer. They consider anyone with a 10 percent chance of having a BRCA mutation eligible for genetic testing. The new criteria are instead based on the type of breast cancer that the patient has and their age.

'This research could lead to a huge change in the way we use genetic testing for breast cancer patients,' said Professor Arnie Purushotham, senior clinical adviser at the Cancer Research UK and one of the scientists to devise the criteria. The new, simpler criteria will help spot more people with this mutation, he said.

'Armed with this valuable knowledge we can decide which treatments will work best and also identify family members with the same mutation who may also be at risk of developing cancer.'

The results, presented at the National Cancer Research Institute's Cancer Conference in Liverpool, found that the new criteria identified 110 patients with BRCA mutations in a cohort of 1020 individuals, giving an overall detection rate of 10.8 percent. Half of these cases would have been missed applying standard NHS protocols, the researchers said.

The criteria will be applied to all women diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and those with breast cancer who are under the age of 45, or under the age of 60 if the cancer has spread to both breasts. It will also be used for women with a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer known as triple negative, and the small number of men who develop breast cancer.

If BRCA mutations are identified in individuals, the screening would be extended to members of their family. Patients will then be offered closer monitoring and preventive treatments, such as mastectomy or removal of the ovaries.

Study leader Professor Nazneen Rahman, head of cancer genetics at the ICR and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, said: 'It allows us to help more cancer patients to benefit from precision medicine, and it helps us prevent cancer occurring in healthy people. We are now working with other centres across the UK, Europe and America to roll out the system, so that many more people. We are now working with other centres across the UK, Europe and America to roll out the system, so that many more people can benefit and many more cancers can be prevented.'

RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE

30 October 2017 - by Annabel Slater 
Two studies have discovered 72 new genetic variants associated with the risk of developing breast cancer...
16 October 2017 - by Hannah Somers 
A new genetic test to accurately predict an individual's risk of developing breast cancer will soon be rolled out at two hospital clinics in Manchester...
09 October 2017 - by Dr Loredana Guglielmi 
A major breakthrough in understanding how mutations in the BRCA1 gene raise cancer risk has been made by researchers in the USA...


 

New prenatal DNA test for Down's syndrome is more accurate and cheaper

13 November 2017

By Dr Barbara Kramarz

Appeared in BioNews 926

A new prenatal screening method for Down's, Edwards' and Patau's syndromes is safer, more reliable and cheaper than existing screening approaches, a study has found.

Using 'reflex DNA screening', researchers were able to pick up 95 percent of pregnancies with one of the conditions, with a very small error rate of 0.2 percent, according to the study published in Genetics in Medicine. The number of false positives – where parents were told their child had Down's, Edwards' or Patau's syndrome incorrectly – was much smaller than the tests currently used.

These conditions all involve a trisomy, an extra copy of one of the chromosomes. Children born with Edwards' or Patau's syndrome rarely survive their first year, while Down's syndrome can result in significant learning disabilities.

Conventional tests for trisomies involve taking a maternal blood test and ultrasound, combined with information such as the mother's age to calculate the likelihood that the fetus has the condition. The blood markers linked to trisomy conditions include molecules called pregnancy-associated plasma protein A and free beta-human chorionic gonadotropin. If the likelihood is more than 1 in 150, a follow-up invasive test is used to take a sample of the fluid around the fetus or the placenta.

However, in the reflex DNA screening method, part of the blood sample from the initial stages is stored. If there is a more than 1 in 800 risk of a trisomy condition, the remainder of the sample is analysed for DNA from the placenta, which shows whether there are any additional chromosomes present, with no need for an invasive test.

The study monitored the pregnancies of almost 23,000 women in the UK. A total of 2,480 of these were identified as at-risk, and 105 of these tested positive for one of the three trisomies. The new method gave four false positives test results, and five affected pregnancies were not detected. This is much more successful than conventional screening methods, which have an 81 percent detection rate, and an error rate 100 times greater.

As well as being more accurate, the reflex DNA method is cheaper as it involves fewer follow-up visits and invasive procedures. It also doesn't carry the increased risk of miscarriage associated with invasive tests. 

'The reflex DNA approach has substantial benefits to the well-being of the women screened,' said Professor Sir Nicholas Wald, from Queen Mary University of London's Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, who led the study.

'Not only are more affected pregnancies identified, but many fewer women will be made acutely anxious by being notified that they have a positive screening result, and among those women with a positive DNA screening result, almost all will have an affected pregnancy.'

RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE

27 November 2017 - by Jonathan Bestwick 
Antenatal screening for Down's, Edwards' and Patau's syndromes with the reflex DNA method was shown in our recent study to have higher screening performance compared with the combined test alone, and compared with the proposed recall DNA method...
20 November 2017 - by Catherine Joynson 
The new 'reflex' method of antenatal screening for Down's, Edwards' and Patau's syndromes was described last week as a 'transformational advance'. It might be cheaper than other approaches, but it could come at the cost of informed choice for pregnant women and couples...

04 September 2017 - by Dr Rachel Huddart 
Current prenatal chromosome screening tests could miss rare chromosomal abnormalities and lead to inaccurate results...
06 March 2017 - by Emma Laycock 
The Nuffield Council on Bioethics has called for a ban on using early prenatal testing to find out the sex or sequence the whole genome of the fetus...
07 November 2016 - by Dr Rachel Huddart 
A more accurate and safer prenatal test for Down's, Edwards' and Patau's syndromes is to be offered by the NHS from 2018, it has been announced...
03 October 2016 - by Victoria Woodham 
The introduction of non-invasive prenatal testing in the NHS screening programme for pregnant women may seem like a no-brainer, but it is based on outdated ideas of what life is like for people with Down's syndrome and their families...
13 April 2015 - by Kirsty Oswald 
Research shows that a new prenatal blood test for Down's syndrome outperforms current methods of screening...


 

UK waits for law reform after genetic mother ineligible for legal parenthood

13 November 2017

By Sean Byrne

Appeared in BioNews 926

A woman has been denied legal parenthood of her surrogate-born child because she is single, despite being the genetic mother.

The child was born in early 2017 as a result of a surrogacy arrangement. The commissioning parents – who are also the genetic parents of the child – separated during the surrogate's pregnancy, and the father no longer wants to be involved in the legal proceedings or upbringing of the child.

The child has been cared for by the intended mother since the birth, but the surrogate is still considered the legal parent – a situation that neither woman wants. Under UK law (Section 54 of the HFE Act 2008), the woman who gives birth to a child is always considered the legal parent, and a parental order is required to transfer the legal parenthood when a baby is born to a surrogate. However current law only allows a parental order to be granted to a couple (married, civil partners or cohabiting) and the intended mother is now single, so she does not satisfy the legal requirement.

Thus the child has no legal relationship with his genetic mother who is raising him: his legal parents are the surrogate, and his genetic father who he has never met.

Mr Justice Keehan, hearing the case was not unsympathetic to the situation, but was bound by law. He explained that in a previous case (Re Z (A Child) (No.2) [2016] EWHC 1191 (Fam)) the President of the Family Division of the High Court declared the current law incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights because the applicant in that case (a single intended father) was prohibited from obtaining a parental order on the sole ground of his status as a single person as opposed to being part of a couple (see BioNews 852). Following that declaration, Justice Keehan said, s54 has been under Parliamentary review, but the court cannot do anything until a remedial order is produced by government .

To explain why the change is so important to families, Justice Keehan quoted Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division: 'Section 54 goes to the most fundamental aspects of status and, transcending even status, to the very identity of the child as a human being: who he is and who his parents are… A parental order has an effect extending far beyond the merely legal. It has the most profound personal, emotional, psychological, social and, it may be in some cases, cultural and religious, consequences.'

In the meantime, the judge explained it would be inappropriate for the mother to adopt a child who is biologically her own. The child will remain a ward of court living with his mother as he had been since birth, the application for a transfer of legal parenthood will have to wait until such a time as s54 is changed to accommodate single parents.

RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE

04 December 2017 - by Jennifer Willows 
A remedial order has been laid before Parliament which, if passed, will give single people the same rights as couples to become the legal parents of their surrogate-born children...

06 November 2017 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza 
A US surrogate has been united with her genetic child who she carried alongside the intended parents' embryo in an apparent case of superfetation... 
23 October 2017 - by Dr Mary Yarwood 
A surrogate from Queensland, Australia has had her parental rights removed after a judge decided it was in the baby's best interests...
27 March 2017 - by Jennifer Willows 
A woman in Singapore has been awarded damages after an IVF clinic fertilised her eggs with a stranger's sperm instead of her husband's...
19 September 2016 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza 
A woman who adopted her child, after being told that an administrative error during fertility treatment meant that her legal parental status was in doubt, has been granted legal parenthood by the Family Court...
08 August 2011 - by Antony Blackburn-Starza 
The UK's High Court has awarded legal parenthood to a deceased father of a child born through a surrogacy arrangement in India....

 

 

Published by the Progress Educational Trust

CROSSING FRONTIERS

Public Conference
London
8 December 2017

Speakers include

Professor Azim Surani

Professor Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz

Professor Robin Lovell-Badge

Sally Cheshire

Professor Guido Pennings

Katherine Littler

Professor Allan Pacey

Dr Sue Avery

Professor Richard Anderson

Dr Elizabeth Garner

Dr Andy Greenfield

Dr Anna Smajdor

Dr Henry Malter

Vivienne Parry

Dr Helen O'Neill

Dr César Palacios-González

Philippa Taylor

Fiona Fox

Sarah Norcross

Sandy Starr


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