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Government must progress Reproductive Bill

Government must progress Reproductive Bill - but with care

The case of the sperm donor left legally marooned after being refused access to a child despite a written contract illustrates the need for the Government to stop delaying the important reproductive technology bill, says National MP, Dr Paul Hutchison.

"Over the last three years, I have written to both the Minister and the select committee requesting careful progress on this bill, which traverses many difficult ethical areas.

"The Government has been particularly dilatory over these important questions, which included sperm donation, in vitro fertilisation and surrogacy. Cloning was inappropriately dealt with in the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act without proper consultation and discussion."

Dr Hutchison, a former gynaecologist and chairman of North Shore Fertility, says that the profession has waited a long time for the legislation and it is important that it is carefully considered by the select committee and Parliament.

"I was surprised to learn that MP Dianne Yates, who has proposed one of two previous reproductive bills, is suggesting it now be passed quickly.

"The Government must progress the bill, but it is vital that full debate over the moral and ethical questions be allowed to occur," says Dr Hutchison.

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