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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

31 AUG 2006

'Suitable' to be a 'Saviour': R (Quintavalle) v Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority

Amel Alghrani, Centre of Social Ethics Policy, School of Law, University of Manchester. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority's decision to licence pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) in conjunction with Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) tissue typing as a means of screening embryos to create a child to serve as a tissue donor for a sick sibling resulted in a legal challenge being brought by the pro-life group, Comment on Reproductive Ethics (CORE). Once again the courts were called to adjudicate upon the powers of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and, in particular, how far the HFEA can legitimately develop policies to address current scientific advances not explicitly covered by the legislation. This article examines the legal challenge before the House of Lords in R (Quintavalle) v Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (Secretary of State for Health Intervening) [2005] UKHL 28, [2005] 2 AC 561 and briefly addresses some of the profound ethical issues their Lordships sought to avoid becoming embroiled in. See Child and Family Law Quarterly Vol 19, No 3, 2006.

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