Court overturns “designer baby” ban
- By: Bruno Rushforth
The Court of Appeal has ruled that the UK fertility treatment regulator, the HFEA (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority), can allow a Leeds couple to select tissue matched embryos to help save their son with thalassaemia.
The family hope that by choosing embryos for in vitro fertilisation that are both free of disease and offer an exact match for human leukocyte antigen, their 4 year old son Zain Hashmi could receive lifesaving stem cells from his future sibling.
An earlier decision by the High Court had upheld a challenge by the pro-life group CORE (Comment on Reproductive Ethics) that the HFEA could not legally grant licences for such procedures. CORE director Josephine Quintavalle said, “To deliberately design a child as a tissue match for another is an abuse of the rights of the new baby.”
But Suzi Leather, the HFEA's chair, welcomed the Court of Appeal ruling saying, “Clearly, clinicians