In a press release on Friday, 7 September, the UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) announced that its appointments committee had selected six new members to appoint to the Authority. The appointments are for three years, lasting until 31 August 2011.
The new appointments to the Authority are:
Dr Mair Crouch (60), Lecturer in Bioethics at the University of Glasgow, who has previously taught in the Department of Adult and Continuing Education, and has lectured on the social, legal and ethical implications of genetic developments.
Ms Jane Dibblin (50), a freelance Executive Producer at Angeleye Media, tasked with the production of educational, audiovisual materials for the Open University. Ms Dibblin is also a former psychotherapeutic counsellor and has personal experience of infertility issues, having unsuccessfully received treatment and subsequently adopted two children.
Ms Gemma Hobcraft (26), a trainee barrister with human rights interests. Though lacking in formal training on sexual and reproductive health and rights, her masters dissertation involved artificial reproductive technologies and she maintains a strong interest through her own reading and personal research. She is also the founding member of the 'Youth Coalition', which is an organisation of young advocates working internationally for Sexual and Reproductive Rights.
Ms Lillian Neville (53), Senior Lecturer and the Strategic Lead for Lifelong Learning at the School of Nursing, University of Salford. Ms Neville was a Nurse before moving into training and now has more than 15 year's experience of teaching health care ethics. She is also a former Chair of the Special Ethics Committee for Reproductive Issues at Salford's Royal Hospitals NHS Trust.
Mrs Debbie Barber (46), a Nurse Consultant and Lecturer in Women's Reproductive Health at the Oxford Fertility Unit, John Radcliffe Hospital. She has more than 20 years of experience with reproductive health provision. She currently acts as a clinical expert resource for colleagues and patients and is responsible for regular practice review and is responsible for the training and professional development of nursing and clinical teams within the unit.
Professor Lesley Regan (52), Professor and Head of Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Imperial College London. Professor Regan is also currently Deputy Head of Division, Surgery, Oncology, Reproductive Biology and Anaesthetics at Imperial College. She is also President of the Association of Early Pregnancy Units in the UK, a council member for the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and a non-executive director of West Midlands University Hospitals.
The new appointments come alongside three re-appointments (Ms Clare Brown, Professor Neva Haites and Professor Emily Jackson), who are each granted an additional three-year term. The release also announced that another three members will shortly be stepping down: Ms Sharmila Nebhrajani on 31 October 2008 and both Walter Merricks and Dr Maybeth Jamieson on 30 November 2008. Professor Lisa Jardine, Chair of the HFEA, stated in the release: 'Of course it is always sad to lose members who have served the HFEA as well as Sharmila, Maybeth and Walter have. They leave us knowing that they have made a contribution of the highest calibre and with our warm good wishes for the future'.