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Guidelines and Policies

Embryo Research Licencing Committee Information Kit Cth
Provides information for licence holders and ethics committees on embryo research licensing.

Assisted Reproductive Technology – Ethical Guidelines
NSW Health

Ethical Code Governing the Provision of Genetics Services (inc. prenatal testing)
NSW Health

Ethical Guidelines on the Use of Assisted Reproductive Technology in Clinical Practice and Research Cth

Options for excess ART embryos – Info for Couples [PDF]    Cth
Brochure for couples on various options for dealing with excess embryos after ART

Reproductive Health and Reproductive Technology: AMA Position Statement Cth
Australian Medical Association
AMA Position Statement on technology, research and reproductive choice.


Assisted Reproductive Technology Act 2007 NSW
Legislation on the provision of ART: Requirements of registration, offering of counselling, use of gametes, keeping records, the central ART register, inspection and surrogacy.

Assisted Reproductive Technology Regulation 2009 NSW
Specific provision pertaining to registration of ART providers and use and storage of information.

Prohibition of Human Cloning for Reproduction Act 2002 Cth
An Act to prohibit human cloning for reproduction and other unacceptable practices associated with reproductive technology, and for related purposes.

Research Involving Human Embryos Act 2002 Cth
An Act to regulate certain activities involving the use of human embryos, and for related purposes.

Legislative Commentary

Plain English Guide to the Research Involving Embryos and Prohibition of Human Cloning Bills 2002 Cth
Assists understanding of the Research Involving Embryos and Prohibition of Human Cloning Bill 2002. It also provides information about the policy intent behind key provisions of the Bill, including why these provisions are drafted the way that they are and what they are trying to achieve.

Revised Explanatory Memorandum Prohibition of Human Cloning Bill Cth

Revised Explanatory Memorandum Research involving Human Embryos Bill
Cth (Rescinded)

Toolkits and Protocols

Code of Practice for Assisted Reproductive Technology Units
(Mandatory for organisations involved in ART)
Reproductive Technology Accreditation Committee
Fertility Society of Australia

Genetic counselling and testing
RACGP Guidelines for preventive activities in general practice

Prenatal Testing/Screening for Down Syndrome & Other Chromosomal Abnormalities
NSW Health

Reproductive Health and Reproductive Technology
AMA Position Statement


PQ v Patient Review Panel (Health and Privacy)
[2012] VCAT 291
In Victoria, access to IVF is regulated and if access is refused an appeal avenue is available by a Patient Review Panel: Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008, s 15. PQ was a single woman, aged 43 years. She had been denied access to IVF by the Patient Review Panel on the basis that she suffered mental health problems and they denied her treatment. VCAT overturned this decision. PQ was found to have insight into her condition, was compliant with her medication regime and had a family support network. VCAT made it a condition of the approval that she was to attend an appointed psychiatrist regularly.

Patient Review Panel v ABY & ABZ [2012] VSCA 264 VIC
Concerned a decision by the Patient Review Panel to deny IVF to a couple, because ABY had served a prison sentence for three counts of sexual penetration of a 16/17 year old under his care. ABY and ABZ appealed to VCAT. VCAT found that the test of the best interests of the child needed to be examined in a limited way by reference to ABY’s particular conviction and found that treatment should be approved on the basis that ABY complete 12 counselling sessions before reproductive treatment commenced. The Panel then appealed VCAT’s decision to the Court of Appeal on the basis that VCAT’s narrow assessment was too limited. The Court of Appeal agreed that the inquiry into best interests should be wide rather than narrow. It ordered the matter be remitted to VCAT for reconsideration

G and M v Armellin [2009] ACTCA 6 ACT
Parents claimed for costs of raising extra child after two embryos were implanted instead of one. The woman gave verbal instructions on the day of procedure that she wanted only one embyro implanted. Court of Appeal found that it was the doctor’s duty to inform the patient of any system to inform the staff of the Centre about the number of embryos to be transferred.

A & B by C (Their Mother & Next Friend) v A Health & Social Services Trust [2011] NICA 28 UK
A claim by infant twins (brought by their mother) who had been conceived through IVF treatment using donor sperm. The mother and her husband were Malaysian by heritage. The IVF clinic negligently selected the donor sperm from a Cape Coloured donor. As a result, the children were born which a much darker skin than their parents. The North Ireland Court of Appeal found that the children had not suffered any recognisable form of damage.

AA v Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages and BB [2011] NSWDC 100 NSW
A gay man provided sperm to a lesbian couple on the condition that he play a role in raising the child. He was listed as the child’s father on the birth certificate. Later the lesbian couple sought to remove his name and replace it with the name of the non-birth mother. The court considered the provisions of the Status of Children Act 1996 (NSW), s 14, (http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/soca1996199/)  and found that the donor father should not be listed as a parent on the birth certificate and his name should be replaced with that of the non-birth mother.

Edwards; Re Estate of Edwards [2011] NSWSC 478 NSW
A married couple had been in the process of commencing fertility treatment when the husband was killed at work. The Supreme Court had ordered the removal of sperm in an urgent application. Later Hulme J examined the basis for the order and found that the decision to extract and store the sperm came under the Human Tissue Act 1983 (NSW), s 23. The court found that the wife’s right of possession extended to the rights to take possession of the sperm.

Re H, AE (No 2) [2012] SASC 177 SA
Gray J took the property approach of Edwards and found that the frozen sperm was property which could be possessed by the deceased’s wife.

Re Section 22 of the Human Tissue and Transplant Act 1982; ex parte C [2013] WASC 3 WA
The husband and his wife had been trying to conceive for two years. The man had committed suicide after suffering severe depression. His wife, C, made an application to the court to retrieve the sperm. Edelman J found that the Human Tissue and Transplant Act 1982 (WA), s 22, could be applied. Ms C was the senior available next of kin of the deceased. The deceased’s body had been brought into the hospital. The use of the sperm to make C pregnant was a ‘medical purpose’.

Papers, Reports and Books

Genetic Dilemmas and a Child’s Right to an Open Future
Hastings Cent Rep. 1997 Mar-Apr;27(2):7-15
Author: Dena S. Davis
Looks at issues of genetic counselling and the dilemmas encountered when parents request assistance in having a child that shares their disability.

Procreative Beneficence: Why we should select the best children
(2001) Bioethics 15(5-6) 413-426
Author:  Julian Savulescu
Looks at the possibilities raised by Preimplantation genetic diagnosis in allowing parents to select embryos on the basis of their genetic make-up: from choosing embryos without certain disease traits, to greater intelligence and particular hari colour.

The non-identity problem and genetic harms — the case of wrongful handicaps
(1995) Bioethics 9(3-4) 269-275
Author: Dan Brock
An article proposing a solution to the dilemma of the moral wrongs and harms connected with failing to prevent the conception and then birth of a child with a disability.

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