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DHSC consultation on storage times for frozen embryos and gametes

Published: 27th May 2020

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 (amended in 2008), sets the storage period for embryos and gametes stored for fertility treatment at a maximum of 10 years. The Act also allows for this period to be extended beyond 10 years for people who are, or are likely to become, prematurely infertile. The storage period may then be extended for subsequent 10-year periods, until a maximum storage period of 55 years is reached.

The government has received representations from Parliamentarians and other interested parties suggesting that the storage limits are no longer fit for purpose. In response, the government agreed to undertake a public consultation to test public views about possible changes to the legislation.

CMF has made a submission, making clear our conviction that life begins with fertilisation and that even the earliest embryos deserve respect and protection under the law. In our view, the destruction and disposal of human embryos are ethically unacceptable. We are also deeply troubled about the processes of freezing and later thawing of embryos for implantation, as part of assisted reproduction, because of safety issues, the commodification of human life, and the fact that in current practice most frozen embryos will not be used and will ultimately face disposal.

The full text can be found here

For further information:

Steven Fouch (CMF Head of Communications) 020 7234 9668

Media Enquiries:

Alistair Thompson on 07970 162 225

About CMF:

Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) was founded in 1949 and is an interdenominational organisation with over 5,000 doctors, 900medical and nursing students and 300 nurses and midwives as members in all branches of medicine, nursing and midwifery. A registered charity, it is linked to over 100 similar bodies in other countries throughout the world.

CMF exists to unite Christian healthcare professionals to pursue the highest ethical standards in Christian and professional life and to increase faith in Christ and acceptance of his ethical teaching.

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