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Amendments to HART Bill released

Amendments to HART Bill released

Proposed changes to the Human Assisted Reproductive Technology (HART) Bill are being released to the Health Select Committee today, Associate Justice Minister Lianne Dalziel said.

The Supplementary Order Paper (SOP) sets out the government’s proposals for regulating this type of technology through amendments to the HART Bill which was originally introduced by Labour MP Dianne Yates in 1996.

“The SOP replaces the licensing regime in the HART Bill with a regulatory framework for assisted human reproductive (AHR) procedures and human reproductive research. This will enable the health, safety and ethical aspects of emerging technology to be assessed and balanced against the benefits for individuals and the wider community.

“This legislation seeks to establish processes for decision-making about the use of AHR procedures and associated research. It requires that the health and well-being of children born as a result of the performance of an assisted reproductive procedure be paramount in all decisions about that procedure. It bans unacceptable practices such as human cloning for reproductive purposes and commercial surrogacy.

“A Ministerial Advisory Committee will provide advice and guidelines on emerging technology and keep established procedures under review.

“All individual applications for non-established AHR procedures and all human reproductive research will need to be considered by an ethics committee and ethical approval for these activities will be mandatory. Only activities with guidelines established by the advisory committee will be allowed approval. “Established AHR procedures, which are routinely performed and accepted as ‘safe’ (eg, artificial insemination and IVF) will not require ethical approval.

“The legislation also establishes a process for donor offspring (people conceived through donated eggs or sperm) to access information about their genetic origins.

“The Health Select Committee, when it considered the original HART Bill, did not complete its consideration of submissions. Since then technology and scientific knowledge regarding this technology has progressed rapidly. In response to these developments, the government decided to progress legislation by amending the HART Bill. “These are important issues which will be discussed further through the select committee process. The select committee will be calling for submissions on the SOP and I encourage the public and interested parties to contribute to that process,” Lianne Dalziel said.

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