University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Madingley Lectures > Playing God: who should regulate reproductive medicine?

Playing God: who should regulate reproductive medicine?

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Politics have played a more significant part in the regulation of reproductive medicine than is commonly recognised. Starting with the media and parliamentary reaction to the birth of Louise Brown in 1978, to the contemporary parliamentarians’ struggle to keep the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) as an integrated body, legislators, clinicians, religious authorities and journalists have competed to seize direction of the way in which this law and regulation develops.

Fortunately, stem cell work in this country was legalised in 2001, in part because of the confidence in regulation generated by the existence of the HFEA and in part because of the thoroughness and secular nature of the debate. This has not been the case in the USA , even though President Obama has been slightly more accommodating than Presidents Bush and Clinton. Britain remains a leading nation in stem cell and reproductive medicine, but this position is threatened by misguided attempts to cut expenditure on quangos. Rearranging the regulatory body will not in fact save money but risks the accountability and security of this field.

Booking is essential as places are limited – book online via the ICE website.

This talk is part of the Madingley Lectures series.

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