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Embryo Go-Ahead Should Wait For Legislation

Embryo Go-Ahead Should Wait For Legislation - Greens

The Government should impose a moratorium on new uses of IVF technology, until the Human Assisted Reproduction Bill has been debated and voted on by Parliament, Green Party Health spokesperson Sue Kedgley said today.

"Applications to allow leftover human embryos to be donated to childless couples and applications for non-commercial surrogacy using IVF treatment raise precisely the sort of far-reaching ethical, cultural and legal issues the bill will consider," she said.

"Until Parliament has listened to submissions, debated these controversial issues, and set a regulatory framework for assisted human reproductive technology in New Zealand, there should be a moratorium on further applications for the technology."

Ms Kedgley was responding to reports that the National Ethics Committee on Assisted Human Reproduction has given approval for 11 IVF surrogacies to go ahead, and will shortly consider an application from Fertility Associates in Auckland to allow IVF parents to donate left-over embryos to other couples.

Ms Kedgley said it was unacceptable for a handful of individuals in a committee which met behind closed doors, to make these sort of far reaching decisions without wide consultation and debate.

"Maori have a particular interest in this, and there is at present no Maori member on the National Ethics Committee.

"In addition, the terms of reference of the National Ethics Committee do not allow it to give adequate consideration to the issues of the rights of children born under these reproductive technologies," she said.

"It is vital that we do not repeat the mistakes of early adoption regimes and put the rights of parents to have children ahead of the rights of children."

Ms Kedgley also called for urgent Parliamentary consideration of the Human Assisted Reproduction bill which was introduced into Parliament 6 years ago by Diane Yates, and which has been languishing in Select Committee.


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