Focus: Westminster: Britain outlaws fetal egg transplantsBMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6936.1062a (Published 23 April 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:1062
- J Warden
History may record half past midnight on 13 April 1994 as the time when the House of Commons placed a roadblock in the path of medical science in Britain. At that moment it also turned its back on women who had begun to hope for infertility treatment using eggs from aborted fetuses, and it effectively slammed the door on research to make that procedure possible. Specifically what MPs did while the nation slept was to create a new criminal offence of using fetal ovarian tissue for fertility treatment.
Backbench coups in the middle of the night usually amount to no more than a boil on the face of parliament. This one goes deeper and should give the scientific community cause for anxiety. In terms of medical research, to say nothing of the democratic process, it was an important 30 minutes. The Commons was motivated by a feeling among MPs …