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Consultation to look at sex selection and other issues

19 January 2004
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 241

The Science and Technology Committee (STC) of the UK's House of Commons is launching an online consultation into human reproductive technologies and the law. The consultation will be launched at a joint STC and British Academy debate on sex selection - just one of the issues to be covered in the consultation - taking place on Thursday 22 January 2004. The debate and e-consultation will be the first stage of a major inquiry by the Committee into human reproductive technologies.

Many people feel uncomfortable with the idea of choosing a child's sex, to balance a family for example. But the debate will ask whether this is a good reason for the state to interfere with the reproductive freedom of individuals. It will also ask whether sex selection potentially creates dangers to the children themselves and/or society as a whole.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) recently published a report recommending that sex selection should be allowed only to avoid serious disease. But the STC will ask what is considered to be a serious disease and whether it is now the time to draw the line before demand grows for so-called designer babies. It will also ask whether a ban on social sex selection is workable if patients from the UK can simply travel to countries where the treatment is available.

Details of the sex selection debate can be found in the 'recommends' section of BioNews. At the end of the event, the e-consultation, featuring sex selection and many other issues, will go online. The Hansard Society will act as independent moderators for the online forum.

17 February 2006 - by BioNews 
A new study carried out at the University of Illinois in Chicago shows that most people would not choose the sex of their baby, if given the option. The findings, published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, are based on an online survey of 1,197 men and women aged between...
7 November 2005 - by BioNews 
A new UK study of peoples' attitudes towards social sex selection has found that 80 per cent believe that parents should not be allowed to choose their baby's sex, even for 'family balancing' reasons. The researchers, based at the Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Unit at Newcastle University, questioned 48...
31 October 2005 - by Dr Jess Buxton 
Allowing parents to select embryos purely on the basis of their sex is one of the most controversial uses of reproductive technology, and usually one that generates plenty of press coverage every time it's mentioned. Not so last week, however, when the journal Nature reported on (and press-released) details of...
28 October 2005 - by BioNews 
A new US trial will look at the social effects of allowing parents to choose whether they have a baby girl or boy. The study, based at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, will follow up babies born following the use of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to choose...
16 August 2005 - by BioNews 
The UK's Department of Health (DH) is inviting views on the way that some assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) are regulated in the UK. Its review forms part of a wider consultation on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Act, passed in 1990, which some say has become out-of-date, 'outstripped' by...
27 October 2003 - by Juliet Tizzard 
The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has recently announced that it will conduct an enquiry into human reproductive technologies and the law. Concerned about a number of recent legal challenges to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Act 1990, the committee feels that the legislation is getting quickly...
27 October 2003 - by BioNews 
The Science and Technology Committee of the UK House of Commons is to look at whether the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act of 1990 is still working effectively. The committee announced that it will conduct an inquiry into the future of the 1990 Act, in the light of a number...
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