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Author Topic: Have Your Say on Reproductive Science  (Read 2527 times)

Offline brendan76

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Have Your Say on Reproductive Science
« on: 07/11/2005 11:54:53 »
Cambridge has long been a centre of excellence in biomedicine and genetics, helping place the UK at the forefront of reproductive science. There is a large community working in the field and many local families have benefited from the clinical services developed here.
 
It is fair to say that Cambridge has a special interest reproductive science. Such an interest extends beyond the research and services sectors; the technology has also caught the imagination of the general community.  In many instances the public is positive about new advances in the science. At other times such advances create social, ethical or safety concerns.  
 
Recognising the benefit to public health from reproductive science, its risks, and the diversity of public opinion about it, Government passed the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Act in 1990; the first legislation in the world to deal specifically these issues. The Act established an Authority of experts, stakeholder and lay representatives, who consult widely and make decisions about reproductive research or practice.
 
The HFE Act was hugely important and pivotal legislation when it was enacted and continues to enjoy a high level of respect from both experts and the public. However, the Government is concerned that, after 15 years, it might need updating because of, ‘the rise of new technologies, changes in societal attitudes [and] international developments’.
 
The Government has set out to review the HFE Act and is now consulting widely with the public. A consultation document, asking a series of questions about the Act and the regulation of reproductive material, including embryos, may be found on the Department of Health website [http://www.dh.gov.uk/Consultations].
 
Alternatively the Cambridge Genetics Knowledge Park (CGKP) is holding public symposium to consider the issues surrounding genetic screening and selection of embryos at Addenbrooke’s Hospital on the 14th of November [5:30-8:00pm].   The CGKP Patient and Public Involvement Panel instigated the symposium to allow the local community to participate in this ‘extremely important and timely legislative review’. The Panel will use participant feedback to report to the government on the issues discussed at the event. To participate, contact the CGKP Public Involvement Manager [brendan.gogarty@srl.cam.ac.uk / 01223 740784]. Places are limited.
 
This is a rare opportunity to influence the reproductive services available to future generations.  Cambridge has had a long history of leading the world in reproductive technology, now it is the Cambridge community’s opportunity to lead the country in discussing the future of the science.


 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: Have Your Say on Reproductive Science
« Reply #1 on: 07/11/2005 21:29:04 »
Cambridge rocks!

We learn from history that we do not learn from history.
(Georg Hegel)
 

Offline Simmer

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Re: Have Your Say on Reproductive Science
« Reply #2 on: 09/11/2005 08:16:57 »
We've only got until the 25th Nov to respond to the DoH consultation.  

Difficult to know how to respond - emotionally on the basis of what seems right to me or logically on the basis of what I think the scientific consequences of legislation will be.  Or not at all, on the basis that I don't know enough about it to form a meaningful opinion!
 

Offline brendan76

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Re: Have Your Say on Reproductive Science
« Reply #3 on: 09/11/2005 19:12:13 »
Hi Simmer
Yes, there is VERY little time to respond to this consultation (particularly one as big and as important as this), which has left us running around like headless chickens on a bbq …

I would encourage everyone to respond, this is supposed to be a ‘public’ consultation on a very high profile and controversial area of science.  However, because of the lack of widespread publicity, and the timeframe for feedback it may just be the ‘usual suspects’ who have their say … which would be a pitty.

I would highly recommend attending the Public Symposium on genetic screening & selection at Addenbrooke’s on Monday evening (see cam.ac.uk front page or newbielink:http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/news/dp/2005110802 [nonactive])

However, this covers only a couple of the 70 odd issues under review … you get up speed on two other controversial issues currently being considered, tissue matching (aka ‘saviour siblings) and donor (sperm/egg) anonymity on the Cambridge Genetics Knowledge park website newbielink:http://www.cgkp.org.uk/survey [nonactive]
Another really good site is the Progress Educational Trust who are running an online forum on most of the issues under review see newbielink:http://progress.mywowbb.com/ [nonactive]

Once (if?) you have had a look at those sites (or even better attended the Cambridge symposium!) you can fill in the consultation template off the Department of Health’s website at newbielink:http://www.dh.gov.uk/assetRoot/04/11/78/73/04117873.doc [nonactive]  where you can respond to 1 or all 74 topics under review.

cheers
brendan.
« Last Edit: 09/11/2005 19:15:28 by brendan76 »
 

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Re: Have Your Say on Reproductive Science
« Reply #3 on: 09/11/2005 19:12:13 »

 

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