Research and training

Refer to principles 3, 5, 6 and 12

Regulatory principles that apply to licensed centres

  • 3.

    have proper respect for the special status of the embryo when conducting licensed activities;

  • 5.

    provide prospective and current patients and donors with sufficient, accessible and up-to-date information in order to allow them to make informed decisions;

  • 6.

    ensure that patients and donors have provided all relevant consents, before any licensed activity is undertaken;

  • 12.

    ensure that all licensed research that they undertake meets proper ethical standards, and is only undertaken where there is both a clear scientific justification and no viable alternative to the use of embryos;

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Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Act 1990 (as amended)

  • 3

    Prohibitions in connection with embryos

  • (2)

    No person shall place in a woman -

    (a) an embryo other than a permitted embryo (as defined by section 3ZA), or

    (b) any gametes other than permitted eggs or permitted sperm (as so defined).

  • (3)

    A licence cannot authorise -

    (a) keeping or using an embryo after the appearance of the primitive streak,

    (b) placing an embryo in any animal, or

    (c) keeping or using an embryo in any circumstances in which regulations prohibit its keeping or use.

  • (4)

    For the purposes of subsection (3)(a) above, the primitive streak is to be taken to have appeared in an embryo not later than the end of the period of 14 days beginning with the day on which the process of creating the embryo began, not counting any time during which the embryo is stored.

  • 4A

    Prohibitions in connection with genetic material not of human origin

  • (1)

    No person shall place in a woman -

    (a) a human admixed embryo,

    (b) any other embryo that is not a human embryo, or

    (c) any gametes other than human gametes.

  • 14

    Conditions of licences for treatment

  • (12)

    No embryo appropriated for the purpose mentioned in paragraph 1(1)ca of Schedule 2 (training in embryological techniques) shall be kept or used for the provision of treatment services.

  • 15

    Conditions of research licences

  • (1)

    The following shall be conditions of every licence under paragraph 3 of Schedule 2 to this Act.

  • (2)

    The records maintained in pursuance of the licence shall include such information as the Authority may specify in directions about such matters as the Authority may so specify.

  • (3)

    No information shall be removed from any records maintained in pursuance of the licence before the expiry of such period as may be specified in directions for records of the class in question.

  • (4)

    No embryo appropriated for the purposes of any project of research shall be kept or used otherwise than for the purposes of such a project.

  • 12

    General conditions

  • (1)

    The following shall be conditions of every licence granted under this Act -

    (a) except to the extent that the activities authorised by the licence fall within paragraph (aa), that those activities shall be carried on only on the premises to which the licence relates and under the supervision of the person responsible,

  • 41

    Offences

  • (1)

    A person who -

    (a) contravenes section 3(2), 3A or 4A(1) of this Act, or

    (b) does anything which, by virtue of section 3(3) of this Act, cannot be authorised by a licence,

    is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or a fine or both.

  • (2)

    A person who -

    (a) contravenes section 3(1) or (1A) of this Act, otherwise than by doing something, which by virtue of section 3(3) of this Act, cannot be authorised by a licence …

    is guilty of an offence.

Schedule 2

Licences for treatment

  • 1

    (1) A licence under this paragraph may authorise any of the following in the course of providing treatment services –

    (ca) using embryos for the purpose of training persons in embryo biopsy, embryo storage or other embryological techniques,

Licences for research

  • 3

    (1) A licence under this paragraph may authorise any of the following -

    (a) bringing about the creation of embryos in vitro, and

    (b) keeping or using embryos,

    for the purposes of a project of research specified in the licence.

    (2) A licence under this paragraph may authorise mixing sperm with the egg of a hamster, or other animal specified in Directions, for the purpose of developing more effective techniques for determining the fertility or normality of sperm, but only where anything which forms is destroyed when the research is complete and, in any event, no later than the two cell stage.

    (3) A licence under this paragraph may authorise any of the following -

    (a) bringing about the creation of human admixed embryos in vitro, and

    (b) keeping or using human admixed embryos,

    for the purposes of a project of research specified in the licence.

    (4) A licence under sub-paragraph (3) may not authorise the activity which may be authorised by a licence under sub-paragraph (2).

    (5) No licence under this paragraph is to be granted unless the Authority is satisfied that any proposed use of embryos or human admixed embryos is necessary for the purposes of the research.

    (6) Subject to the provisions of this Act, a licence under this paragraph may be granted subject to such conditions as may be specified in the licence.

    (7) A licence under this paragraph may authorise the performance of any of the activities referred to in sub-paragraph (1), (2) or (3) in such manner as may be so specified.

    (8) A licence under this paragraph may be granted for such period not exceeding three years as may be specified in the licence.

    (9) This paragraph has effect subject to paragraph 3A.

Purposes for which activities may be licensed under paragraph 3

  • 3A

    (1) A licence under paragraph 3 cannot authorise any activity unless the activity appears to the Authority -

    (a) to be necessary or desirable for any of the purposes specified in sub-paragraph (2) (“the principal purposes”),

    (b) to be necessary or desirable for the purpose of providing knowledge that, in the view of the Authority, may be capable of being applied for the purposes specified in sub-paragraph (2)(a) or (b), or

    (c) to be necessary or desirable for such other purposes as may be specified in regulations.

    (2) The principal purposes are -

    (a) increasing knowledge about serious disease or other serious medical conditions,

    (b) developing treatments for serious disease or other serious medical conditions,

    (c) increasing knowledge about the causes of any congenital disease or congenital medical condition that does not fall within paragraph (a),

    (d) promoting advances in the treatment of infertility,

    (e) increasing knowledge about the causes of miscarriage,

    (f) developing more effective techniques of contraception,

    (g) developing methods for detecting the presence of gene, chromosome or mitochondrion abnormalities in embryos before implantation, or

    (h) increasing knowledge about the development of embryos.

General

  • 4

    (1) A licence under this Schedule can only authorise activities to be carried on -

    (a) on premises specified in the licence or, in the case of activities to which section 3(1A)(b) or (1B) or 4(1A) applies, on relevant third party premises, and

    (b) under the supervision of an individual designated in the licence.

    (1A) A licence which authorises activities falling within paragraph 1 or 1A above may not also authorise activities falling within paragraph 3 above.

    (2) A licence cannot -

    (a) authorise activities falling within both paragraph 1 [Licenses for treatment]  and paragraph 3 above,

    (b) apply to more than one project of research,

    (c) authorise activities to be carried on under the supervision of more than one individual, or

    (d) apply to premises of the person who holds the licence in different places.

Schedule 3

  • Consent
  • 2

    (1) A consent to the use of any embryo must specify one or more of the following purposes -

    …(ba) use for the purpose of training persons in embryo biopsy, embryo storage or other embryological techniques, or

    (c) use for the purposes of any project of research,

    and may specify conditions subject to which the embryo may be so used.

In vitro fertilisation and subsequent use of embryos

  • 6

    (1) A person's gametes or human cells must not be used to bring about the creation of any embryo in vitro unless there is an effective consent by that person to any embryo, the creation of which may be brought about with the use of those gametes or human cells, being used for one or more of the purposes mentioned in paragraph 2(1)… (c) above.

    (2) An embryo the creation of which was brought about in vitro must not be received by any person unless there is an effective consent by each relevant person in relation to the embryo to the use for one or more of the purposes mentioned in paragraph 2(1)… (ba) and (c) above of the embryo.

    (3) An embryo the creation of which was brought about in vitro must not be used for any purpose unless there is an effective consent by each relevant person in relation to the embryo to the use for that purpose of the embryo and the embryo is used in accordance with those consents.

Embryos obtained by lavage etc.

  • 7

    (1) An embryo taken from a woman must not be used for any purpose unless there is an effective consent by her to the use of the embryo for that purpose and it is used in accordance with the consent.

    (2) An embryo taken from a woman must not be received by any person for use for any purpose unless there is an effective consent by her to the use of the embryo for that purpose.

    (4) An embryo taken from a woman must not be used to bring about the creation of any embryo in vitro or any human admixed embryo in vitro.

Variation and withdrawal of consent

  • (1) The terms of any consent under this Schedule may from time to time be varied, and the consent may be withdrawn, by notice given by the person who gave the consent to the person keeping the gametes, human cells, embryo or human admixed embryo to which the consent is relevant.

    (2) Subject to sub-paragraph (3), the terms of any consent to the use of any embryo cannot be varied, and such consent cannot be withdrawn, once the embryo has been used -

    ....(aa) in training persons in embryo biopsy, embryo storage or other embryological techniques, or

              (b) for the purposes of any project of research.

    (3) Where the terms of any consent to the use of an embryo (“embryo A”) include consent to the use of an embryo or human admixed embryo whose creation may be brought about in vitro using embryo A, that consent to the use of that subsequent embryo or human admixed embryo cannot be varied or withdrawn once embryo A has been used for one or more of the purposes mentioned in sub-paragraph (2)(a) or (b).

Licence conditions

  • R18
    The provisions of Schedule 3 to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 (as amended) must be complied with (relating to consent to the use of embryos and human admixed embryos and for the storage of gametes, embryos and human admixed embryos for use in research).
  • R19

    Prior to giving consent, persons providing gametes or human cells must be provided with the necessary information including:

    a. the nature of the research project

    b. that the decision whether to donate will not affect their treatment in any way

    c. that they can vary or withdraw the terms of their consent until the point the embryos or human admixed embryos are used in the project of research

    d. whether the embryos or human admixed embryos will be reversibly or irreversibly anonymised, and the implications of this

    e. whether any information will be fed back to the them, and

    f. how the research is funded, including any benefit which will accrue to the researchers and/or their departments.

  • R20

    Prior to giving consent persons providing gametes or human cells for use in research that involves the derivation of embryonic stem cells/lines, must be provided with the following additional information:

    a. that once an embryo or human admixed embryo has been used in the project of research they will have no control over any future use of the embryonic cells or any stem cells derived

    b. that any stem cells/lines created may continue indefinitely and be used in many different research projects and/or clinical therapy

    c. that stem cells derived in this research project will be deposited in the UK Stem Cell Bank and the implications of this including that they may be available to other research groups nationally or internationally

    d. that the stem cells/lines may be used for commercial purposes, but that they will not benefit financially from this, and

    e. that any stem cells/lines derived or discoveries made using them, could be patented, but that they will not benefit financially from this.

  • R21

    The information referred to in licence conditions R19 and R20 must be given by trained personnel in a manner and using terms that are easily understood by the persons providing gametes or human cells.

  • R22

    The centre must ensure that a designated individual, who is not directly involved in the patient’s treatment is available to discuss with the patient the project of research and the possibility of donating material to the project.

  • R23

    No embryo/human admixed embryo obtained for the purposes of any research project may be kept or used for any purpose other than the purposes of that research project.

  • R24
    No money or other benefit must be given or received in respect to any supply of gametes, embryos or human admixed embryos unless authorised by Directions.
  • R26

    Each embryo or human admixed embryo must be uniquely labelled in accordance with any directions and/or guidance issued by the Authority.

  • R27

    The centre must establish, implement and comply with documented procedures to ensure that clinical and research roles are separated.

  • R28

    The centre must establish, implement and comply with documented procedures to ensure that embryos or human admixed embryos do not develop after 14 days or the primitive streak has appeared (if earlier).

  • R29

    If embryos or human admixed embryos have been created using human cells that have been stored before 1 October 2009 then the centre must take steps to ensure that the embryos or human admixed embryos cannot subsequently be attributed to the person whose cells were so used.

  • R31

    Gametes of a person must only be placed in storage (for use in licensed research) only if

    a. received from that person

    b. acquired in circumstances in which by virtue of paragraphs 9 and 10 of Schedule 3 to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 (as amended) that person’s consent to the storage is not required, or

    c. acquired from a person to whom a licence or third party agreement applies.

  • R32

    Embryos taken from a woman must be placed in storage only if –

    a. received from that woman, or

    b. acquired from a person to whom a licence or third party agreement applies.

  • R33

    Embryos which have been created in vitro otherwise than in pursuance of this licence must be placed in storage only if acquired from a person to whom a licence or third party agreement applies.

  • R34

    Human admixed embryos which have been created in vitro otherwise than in pursuance of this licence must be placed in storage only if acquired from a person to whom a licence under paragraph 2 or 3 of Schedule 2 to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 (as amended) applies.

  • R35

    The statutory storage period in respect of gametes is such period not exceeding ten years as the licence may specify.

  • R36

    The statutory storage period in respect of embryos is such period not exceeding ten years as the licence may specify.

  • R37

    The statutory storage period in respect of human admixed embryos is such period not exceeding ten years as the licence may specify.

  • R38

    Regulations may provide that licence conditions R35, R36 and R37 must have effect as if for ten years there were substituted -

    a. such shorter period, or

    b. in such circumstances as may be specified in the relevant Regulations, such longer period, as may be specified in the relevant Regulations.

  • R39

    No gametes, embryos or human admixed embryos shall be kept in storage for longer than the statutory storage period and, if stored at the end of the period, must be allowed to perish.

  • T92

    No embryo appropriated for the purpose of training staff in embryological techniques must be kept or used for the provision of treatment services.

  • T93

    Embryos may only be used, for the purpose of training persons in embryo biopsy, embryo storage or other embryological techniques and in those activities that are expressly authorised by the Authority.

  • T94

    Embryos may only be used, for the purpose of training persons in embryo biopsy, embryo storage or other embryological techniques, where both gamete providers have consented to the use of embryos, created using their gametes, for the purpose of training.

  • T95

    The centre must have procedures in place to ensure that there is no actual or perceived conflict of interest between the use of embryos in training and the use of embryos in the provision of treatment services.

    This would normally consist of:

    a. having a designated individual, who is not directly involved in the patient’s treatment, to discuss with the patient the training activity and the possibility of donating material for it; and

    b. making sure that the person obtaining consent for the use of the embryos in training is not involved in the training project.

    Where limited staffing makes this difficult to achieve, the centre must develop its own robust procedures
    for ensuring that the conflict of interest requirement is met.

  • T97

    Prior to giving consent, each gamete  provider must be provided with the necessary information including:

    a. the nature of the training for which embryos will be used

    b. that the decision whether to donate will not affect their treatment in any way

    c. that they can vary or withdraw the terms of their consent until the point the embryos are used in training, and

    d. whether any information will be fed back to the them.

  • T98

    The information referred to in licence condition T97 must be given by trained personnel in a manner and using terms that are easily understood by the persons providing gametes.

Directions

Regulations

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Special Exemptions) Regulations 2009

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General

22AInterpretation of mandatory requirements

The law prohibits:

a) embryos being placed in any animal

b) embryos that are not human being placed in a woman

c) gametes that are not human being placed in a woman

d) mixing human gametes with animal gametes, except for when carrying out the ‘hamster test’ in line with a licence

e) embryos being kept or used after 14 days from when the process of creating the embryo began, or after the primitive streak has appeared (if earlier than 14 days)

f) embryos intended for a research project being used for any purposes other than those of that research project

g) an embryo created or obtained for research being placed in a woman

h) keeping the results of the ‘hamster test’ after any research is complete or, in any event, after the two cell stage

i) a research licence being used for any project other than the one specified in that licence

j) research activities being carried out on premises other than those specified in the licence

k) research activities being carried out under the supervision of anyone other than the specific person designated in the licence

l) a treatment licence authorising the activities of a research project, and

m) a research licence applying to more than one research project.

The HFE (Special Exemptions) Regulations 2009 allow gametes to be stored without a licence for research on gametes, for developing pharmaceutical or contraceptive products, or for teaching, provided that the gametes are not used for treatment purposes or for other prohibited purposes set out in the Regulations.

  • 22.1

    The person named as the person responsible on a research licence should not also be named as the person responsible on a treatment licence.

  • 22.2

    The centre should have documented procedures for:

    a) obtaining embryos to be used for research or training purposes, and

    b) obtaining written informed consent from donors for research and training purposes, and ensuring that embryos are used only in line with this consent.

  • 22.3

    If embryos or human admixed embryos will be used for research or training purposes, the research centre should record, before the project starts:

    a) the proposed duration of the culture period

    b) the procedure that will be used to ensure that embryos do not develop after 14 days or the primitive streak has appeared (if earlier), and

    c) the method that will be used to terminate development.

  • 22.4

    The centre should have documented procedures for ensuring that embryos and human admixed embryos are used within the maximum period of storage permitted by law or within any period of storage specified in the donor’s consent (if shorter).

Disclosure of interests

  • 22.5

    Staff involved in research should follow relevant guidelines produced by the respective professional bodies (eg, the General Medical Council, or the Nursing and Midwifery Council). The centre should ensure that:

    a) all financial interests and sums of money known or estimated to be paid for the research are disclosed to a research ethics committee, and

    b) all members of the research team, including nurses and non-medical staff, are informed about how the research is being financed and managed.

Information provided to donors

22BInterpretation of mandatory requirements

The law requires that before a person consents to donating embryos, or gametes or cells to be used to create embryos, for research or training, they should be given:

a) enough information to understand the nature, purpose and implications of their donation, and

b) information about the procedure for varying or withdrawing any consent given, including the fact that they can do this only until the embryos are used in the research project.

Embryos will be regarded as having been used for research or training as soon as they are under the control of the researchers or trainers/trainees and are being cultured for use in research or training.

Specific additional information must be given to individuals before they consent to any donation of their embryos to research projects involving, or intending to involve, human embryonic stem cell lines.

  • 22.6

    The centre should ensure that donors are given information about how the research is funded, including any direct payments or benefits that researchers, their departments or both would receive, and any financial interests the centre has in the research project or in its sponsoring organisations.

  • 22.7

    For any research project, the centre should ensure that before donors give their consent to their gametes or embryos, or cells used to create embryos, being used in research, they are given oral information (supported by relevant written material) that confirms:

    a) the specific research project and its aims

    b) details of the research project, including likely outcomes and how any individual donation will impact on the overall project

    c) whether the embryos will be reversibly or irreversibly anonymised, and the implications of this

    d) whether donors will be given any information that is obtained during the research and is relevant to their health and welfare

    e) that donors are expected to have an opportunity to ask questions and discuss the research project

    f) that donating gametes or embryos to research in the course of treatment services will not affect the patient’s treatment in any way

    g) that patients are under no obligation to donate gametes and embryos for research and that their decision whether to do so will have no repercussions for any treatment they may receive

    h) that only fresh or frozen gametes and embryos not required for treatment can be used for research

    i) that research is experimental, and so any gametes and embryos used and created for any research project must not be used in treatment

    j) that donors may specify conditions for the use of the gametes or embryos

    k) that after the research has been completed, all donated gametes and embryos will be allowed to perish, and

    l) that, for any individual who donates cells for creating embryos for research, consent to use these cells includes consent to do so after the individual’s death, unless stated otherwise.

  • 22.8

    If donated gametes or embryos could be used in secondary research, the centre should inform those considering donation of this possibility and explain that:

    a) secondary research could include the fixing of gametes, embryos or embryo cell samples for future studies

    b) secondary research could also include genetic research (the implications of which the centre should describe)

    c) to protect confidentiality, gametes and embryos for secondary research may be anonymised but this may be reversible

    d) if gametes and embryos will be reversibly anonymised and genetic research proposed, those considering donation will be offered counselling about the implications and given the opportunity to reconsider the terms of their consent

    e) if gametes and embryos will be irreversibly anonymised, those considering donation will be fully informed of the implications, ie, that no information or results from the research, including clinically relevant information, could be fed back to them, and

    f) if embryos will be used for stem cell research, those considering donation will be given thorough and appropriate information about the nature of this kind of research and its implications, including that any stem cell lines created may continue indefinitely and be used in different research projects.

  • 22.9

    If genetic research will be done on identifiable samples, the centre should:

    a) first inform the donor about the project and what, if any, information may be fed back to them, and

    b) then obtain the explicit consent of those considering donation.

  • 22.10

    The centre should ensure that before donors consent to their gametes or embryos being used for training purposes, they are given oral information (supported by relevant written material) that confirms:

    a) the specific training

    b) details of the training, including likely outcomes and how any individual donation will impact on the overall training

    c) whether the gametes or embryos will be reversibly or irreversibly anonymised, and the implications of this

    d) whether any information, obtained during the training, that is relevant to the donor’s health and welfare will be fed back to the donor

    e) that donors are expected to have an opportunity to ask questions and discuss the training

    f) that donating gametes or embryos to training in the course of treatment services will not affect the patient’s treatment in any way

    g) that patients are under no obligation to donate gametes or embryos for training and that their decision whether to do so will have no repercussions for any treatment they may receive

    h) that only fresh or frozen gametes or embryos not required for treatment can be used for training

    i) that any embryos used in training must not be used in treatment

    j) that donors may specify conditions for the use of the embryos, and

    k) that after the training has been completed, all donated embryos will be allowed to perish.

  • 22.11

    If genetic research will be done on identifiable samples, the centre should:

    a) first inform the donor about the training and what, if any, information may be fed back to them, and

    b) then obtain the explicit consent of those considering donation.

Consent

22CInterpretation of mandatory requirements

The law requires written, signed consent (subject to specific exemption for illness, injury or disability) from any individual before they donate embryos, or gametes or human cells used to create embryos in vitro, for the use in any research project. This consent can be varied or withdrawn at any time until the resulting embryo has been used for the purposes of the research project.

The law requires written, signed consent (subject to specific exemption for illness, injury or disability) from any individual before they donate embryos for training. This consent can be varied or withdrawn at any time until the embryo has been used for training people in embryo biopsy, embryo storage or other embryo techniques.

The HFE (Special Exemptions) Regulations 2009 allow gametes to be stored without a licence for research on gametes, for developing pharmaceutical or contraceptive products, or for teaching, provided that the gametes are not used for treatment purposes.

The law also requires the centre to obtain written informed consent from a person before procuring their gametes.

  • 22.12

    The centre should obtain written informed consent from a person before using their gametes for research or training.

  • 22.13

    If donated material is used for research or training, the centre should ensure that clinical and research roles are separated. Individuals involved in advising patients when making clinical decisions about their licensed treatment should not be involved in research or training that patients are considering donating to.

  • 22.14

    If embryos or gametes, or cells used to create embryos, are used for licensed research, the centre should ensure that:

    a) a designated individual who is not directly involved in the donor's treatment (but could be part of the clinical team) is available to discuss with the donor the research project and the possibility of donating material

    b) the individual obtaining consent is suitably trained and qualified, has sufficient knowledge of the proposed research, understands the risks involved, complies with professional guidelines, and is not directly involved with the research, and

    c) the donor is given sufficient time to consider the implications of their donation before the donated material is used in any research project.

  • 22.15

    Consent should not be obtained under duress, especially if the donor is in a dependent relationship with someone involved in the research project.

  • 22.16

    The centre should not take gametes or cells from people under the age of 18 for research unless it can satisfy itself that the donor is capable of giving and actually gives effective consent to such research. The exception is in cases where cells may be taken from a person under the age of 18 for research if certain parental consent conditions have been met (as outlined below).

  • 22.17

    The centre should ensure that all the appropriate consents from all the gamete or embryo donors are in place before embryos are transferred between centres.

Additional requirements for stem cell research

Mandatory requirements

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 (as amended):

Licence conditions

12 General conditions

(2) Subsection (3) applies to-

…(c) every licence under paragraph 3 of that Schedule, so far as authorising activities in connection with the derivation from embryos of stem cells that are intended for human application.

(3) It shall be a condition of every licence to which this subsection applies that –

(a) such information as is necessary to facilitate the traceability of gametes and embryos, and

(b) any information relating to the quality or safety of gametes or embryos,

Shall be recorded and provided to the Authority upon request.

14A Conditions of licences: human application

(1) This section applies to -

(c) every licence under paragraph 3 of that Schedule [Schedule 2], so far as authorising activities in connection with the derivation from embryos of stem cells that are intended for human application.

(2) A licence to which this section applies may not authorise the storage, procurement, testing, processing or distribution of gametes or embryos unless it contains the conditions required by Schedule 3A.

(3) In relation to any gametes or embryos imported into the United Kingdom from an EEA state other than the United Kingdom or from Gibraltar, compliance with the requirements of the laws or other measures adopted in the relevant state or territory for the purpose of implementing the first, second and third Directives shall be taken to be compliance with the conditions required by Schedule 3A.

(4) Subsection (3) shall not apply to any licence conditions imposed by the Authority which amount to more stringent protective measures for the purposes of Article 4(2) of the first Directive.

Licence conditions

R20  Prior to giving consent persons providing gametes or human cells for use in research that involves the derivation of embryonic stem cells/lines, must be provided with the following additional information:

f. that once an embryo or human admixed embryo has been used in the project of research they will have no control over any future use of the embryonic cells or any stem cells derived

g. that any stem cells/lines created may continue indefinitely and be used in many different research projects and/or clinical therapy

h. that stem cells derived in this research project will be deposited in the UK Stem Cell Bank and the implications of this including that they may be available to other research groups nationally or internationally

i. that the stem cells/lines may be used for commercial purposes, but that they will not benefit financially from this, and

j. that any stem cells/lines derived or discoveries made using them, could be patented, but that they will not benefit financially from this.

R30 Where this licence authorises the derivation of human embryonic stem cell lines:

a. a sample of all stem cell lines derived must be deposited in the UK Stem Cell Bank in accordance with any relevant Bank guidelines, and

b. the remainder of all stem cell lines (in so far as not used or destroyed as part of or in the course of the research project) must be deposited in the UK Stem Cell Bank or distributed in accordance with any relevant guidelines issued by the UK Stem Cell Bank.

R41 Centres deriving stem cells for intended human application must comply with the additional conditions set out in Annex A to the Research Licence.

R68 The centre must record such information as is necessary to facilitate the traceability of stem cells derived from embryos that are intended for human application and any information relating to the quality or safety of gametes and embryos. This information must be provided to the Authority upon request.

Centres deriving stem cells for human application should adhere to the mandatory requirements and guidance, outlined in other guidance notes, regarding:

  • 22.18

    The centre should have documented procedures for depositing samples of all embryonic stem cell lines developed or used in a research project in a stem cell bank.

  • 22.19

    Donors must give specific consent to their gametes, or embryos created with their gametes, being used in stem cell research.

Use of human cells

Mandatory requirements

Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Act 1990 (as amended)

15 Conditions of research licences

(5) If by virtue of paragraph 15F of Schedule 3 (existing cell lines) qualifying cells, as defined by paragraph 15F(2) of that Schedule, of a person (“P”) are used to bring about the creation in vitro of an embryo or human admixed embryo without P’s consent, steps shall be taken to ensure that the embryo or human admixed embryo cannot subsequently be attributed to P.

Schedule 3

In vitro fertilisation and subsequent use of embryos

6 (3A) If the Authority is satisfied that the parental consent conditions in paragraph 15A are met in relation to the proposed use under a licence of the human cells of a person who has not attained the age of 18 years (“C”), the Authority may in the licence authorise the application of sub-paragraph (3B) in relation to C.

(3B) Where the licence authorises the application of this sub-paragraph, the effective consent of a person having parental responsibility for C -

(a) to the use of C’s human cells to bring about the creation of an embryo in vitro for use for the purposes of a project of research, or

(b) to the use for those purposes of an embryo in relation to which C is a relevant person by reason only of the use of C’s human cells,

is to be treated for the purposes of sub-paragraphs (1) to (3) as the effective consent of C.

(3C) If C attains the age of 18 years or the condition in paragraph 15(3) ceases to be met in relation to C, paragraph 4 has effect in relation to C as if any effective consent previously given under sub-paragraphs (1) to (3) by a person having parental responsibility for C had been given by C but, subject to that, sub-paragraph (3B) ceases to apply in relation to C.

(3ZD) Sub-paragraphs (1) to (3) have effect subject to paragraphs 15B and 15F.

Storage of gametes and embryos

8(2A) Where a licence authorises the application of paragraph 6(3B) in relation to a person who has not attained the age of 18 years (“C”), the effective consent of a person having parental responsibility for C to the storage of an embryo in relation to which C is a relevant person by reason only of the use of C’s human cells is to be treated for the purposes of sub-paragraph (2) as the effective consent of C.

(2B) If C attains the age of 18 years or the condition in paragraph 15(3) ceases to be met in relation to C, paragraph 4 has effect in relation to C as if any effective consent previously given under sub-paragraph (2) by a person having parental responsibility for C had been given by C but, subject to that, sub-paragraph (2A) ceases to apply in relation to C.

(2C) For the purposes of sub-paragraphs (2) and (2A), each of the following is a relevant person in relation to an embryo the creation of which was brought about in vitro (“embryo A”) -

(a) each person whose gametes or human cells were used to bring about the creation of embryo A,

(b) each person whose gametes or human cells were used to bring about the creation of any other embryo, the creation of which was brought about in vitro, which was used to bring about the creation of embryo A, and

(c) each person whose gametes or human cells were used to bring about the creation of any human admixed embryo, the creation of which was brought about in vitro, which was used to bring about the creation of embryo A.

Parental consent conditions

15 (1) In relation to a person who has not attained the age of 18 years (“C”), the parental consent conditions referred to in paragraphs 6(3A) and 12(4) are as follows.

(2) Condition A is that C suffers from, or is likely to develop, a serious disease, a serious physical or mental disability or any other serious medical condition.

(3) Condition B is that either -

(a) C is not competent to deal with the issue of consent to the use of C’s human cells to bring about the creation in vitro of an embryo or human admixed embryo for use for the purposes of a project of research, or

(b) C has attained the age of 16 years but lacks capacity to consent to such use of C’s human cells.

(4) Condition C is that any embryo or human admixed embryo to be created in vitro is to be used for the purposes of a project of research which is intended to increase knowledge about -

(a) the disease, disability or medical condition mentioned in sub-paragraph (2) or any similar disease, disability or medical condition, or

(b) the treatment of, or care of persons affected by, that disease, disability or medical condition or any similar disease, disability or medical condition.

(5) Condition D is that there are reasonable grounds for believing that research of comparable effectiveness cannot be carried out if the only human cells that can be used to bring about the creation in vitro of embryos or human admixed embryos for use for the purposes of the project are the human cells of persons who -

(a) have attained the age of 18 years and have capacity to consent to the use of their human cells to bring about the creation in vitro of an embryo or human admixed embryo for use for the purposes of the project, or

(b) have not attained that age but are competent to deal with the issue of consent to such use of their human cells.

(6) In relation to Scotland, sub-paragraphs (1) to (5) are to be read with the following modifications -

(a) for sub-paragraph (3) substitute -

“(3) Condition B is that C does not have capacity (within the meaning of section 2(4ZB) of the Age of Legal Capacity (Scotland) Act 1991) to consent to the use of C’s human cells to bring about the creation in vitro of an embryo or human admixed embryo for use for the purposes of a project of research.”,

(b) in sub-paragraph (5)(a), for “have capacity to consent” substitute “are not incapable (within the meaning of section 1(6) of the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000) of giving consent”, and

(c) in sub-paragraph (5)(b), for “are competent to deal with the issue of” substitute “have capacity (within the meaning of section 2(4ZB) of the Age of Legal Capacity (Scotland) Act 1991) to”.

Adults lacking capacity: exemption relating to use of human cells etc.

16 (1) If, in relation to the proposed use under a licence of the human cells of a person who has attained the age of 18 years (“P”), the Authority is satisfied -

(a) that the conditions in paragraph 17 are met,

(b) that paragraphs (1) to (4) of paragraph 18 have been complied with, and

(c) that the condition in paragraph 18(5) is met,

the Authority may in the licence authorise the application of this paragraph in relation to P.

(2) Where a licence authorises the application of this paragraph, this Schedule does not require the consent of P -

(a) to the use (whether during P’s life or after P’s death) of P’s human cells to bring about the creation in vitro of an embryo or human admixed embryo for use for the purposes of a project of research,

(b) to the storage or the use for those purposes (whether during P’s life or after P’s death) of an embryo or human admixed embryo in relation to which P is a relevant person by reason only of the use of P’s human cells.

(3) This paragraph has effect subject to paragraph 19.

Consent to use of human cells etc. not required: adult lacking capacity

17 (1) The conditions referred to in paragraph 16(1)(a) are as follows.

(2) Condition A is that P suffers from, or is likely to develop, a serious disease, a serious physical or mental disability or any other serious medical condition.

(3) Condition B is that P lacks capacity to consent to the use of P’s human cells to bring about the creation in vitro of an embryo or human admixed embryo for use for the purposes of a project of research.

(4) Condition C is that the person responsible under the licence has no reason to believe that P had refused such consent at a time when P had that capacity.

(5) Condition D is that it appears unlikely that P will at some time have that capacity.

(6) Condition E is that any embryo or human admixed embryo to be created in vitro is to be used for the purposes of a project of research which is intended to increase knowledge about -

(a) the disease, disability or medical condition mentioned in sub-paragraph (2) or any similar disease, disability or medical condition, or

(b) the treatment of, or care of persons affected by, that disease, disability or medical condition or any similar disease, disability or medical condition.

(7) Condition F is that there are reasonable grounds for believing that research of comparable effectiveness cannot be carried out if the only human cells that can be used to bring about the creation in vitro of embryos or human admixed embryos for use for the purposes of the project are the human cells of persons who -

(a) have attained the age of 18 years and have capacity to consent to the use of their human cells to bring about the creation in vitro of an embryo or human admixed embryo for use for the purposes of the project, or

(b) have not attained that age but are competent to deal with the issue of consent to such use of their human cells.

(8) In this paragraph and paragraph 18 references to the person responsible under the licence are to be read, in a case where an application for a licence is being made, as references to the person who is to be the person responsible.

(9) In relation to Scotland -

(a) references in sub-paragraphs (3) to (5) to P lacking, or having, capacity to consent are to be read respectively as references to P being, or not being, incapable (within the meaning of section 1(6) of the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000) of giving such consent, and

(b) sub-paragraph (7) is to be read with the following modifications -

(i) in paragraph (a), for “have capacity to consent” substitute “are not incapable (within the meaning of section 1(6) of the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000) of giving consent”, and

(ii) in paragraph (b), for “are competent to deal with the issue of” substitute “have capacity (within the meaning of section 2(4ZB) of the Age of Legal Capacity (Scotland) Act 1991) to”.

Consulting carers etc. in case of adult lacking capacity

18 (1) This paragraph applies in relation to a person who has attained the age of 18 years (“P”) where the person responsible under the licence (“R”) wishes to use P’s human cells to bring about the creation in vitro of an embryo or human admixed embryo for use for the purposes of a project of research, in a case where P lacks capacity to consent to their use.

(2) R must take reasonable steps to identify a person who -

(a) otherwise than in a professional capacity or for remuneration, is engaged in caring for P or is interested in P’s welfare, and

(b) is prepared to be consulted by R under this paragraph of this Schedule.

(3) If R is unable to identify such a person R must nominate a person who -

(a) is prepared to be consulted by R under this paragraph of this Schedule, but

(b) has no connection with the project.

(4) R must provide the person identified under sub-paragraph (2) or nominated under sub-paragraph (3) (“F”) with information about the proposed use of human cells to bring about the creation in vitro of embryos or human admixed embryos for use for the purposes of the project and ask F what, in F’s opinion, P’s wishes and feelings about the use of P’s human cells for that purpose would be likely to be if P had capacity in relation to the matter.

(5) The condition referred to in paragraph 16(1)(c) is that, on being consulted, F has not advised R that in F’s opinion P’s wishes and feelings would be likely to lead P to decline to consent to the use of P’s human cells for that purpose.

(6) In relation to Scotland, the references in sub-paragraphs (1) and (4) to P lacking, or having, capacity to consent are to be read respectively as references to P being, or not being, incapable (within the meaning of section 1(6) of the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000) of giving such consent.

Effect of acquiring capacity

19 (1) Paragraph 16 does not apply to the use of P’s human cells to bring about the creation in vitro of an embryo or human admixed embryo if, at a time before the human cells are used for that purpose, P-

(a) has capacity to consent to their use, and

(b) gives written notice to the person keeping the human cells that P does not wish them to be used for that purpose.

(2) Paragraph 16 does not apply to the storage or use of an embryo or human admixed embryo whose creation in vitro was brought about with the use of P’s human cells if, at a time before the embryo or human admixed embryo is used for the purposes of the project of research, P -

(a) has capacity to consent to the storage or use, and

(b) gives written notice to the person keeping the human cells that P does not wish them to be used for that purpose.

(3) In relation to Scotland, the references in sub-paragraphs (1)(a) and (2)(a) to P having capacity to consent are to be read as references to P not being incapable (within the meaning of section 1(6) of the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000) of giving such consent.

Use of cells or cell lines

20 (1) Where a licence authorises the application of this paragraph in relation to qualifying cells, this Schedule does not require the consent of a person (“P”) -

(a) to the use of qualifying cells of P to bring about the creation in vitro of an embryo or human admixed embryo for use for the purposes of a project of research, or

(b) to the storage or the use for those purposes of an embryo or human admixed embryo in relation to which P is a relevant person by reason only of the use of qualifying cells of P.

(2) “Qualifying cells” are human cells which -

(a) were lawfully stored for research purposes immediately before the commencement date, or

(b) are derived from human cells which were lawfully stored for those purposes at that time.

(3) The “commencement date” is the date on which paragraph 9(2)(a) of Schedule 3 to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (requirement for consent to use of human cells to create an embryo) comes into force.

Conditions for grant of exemption in paragraph 20

21 (1) A licence may not authorise the application of paragraph 20 unless the Authority is satisfied -

(a) that there are reasonable grounds for believing that scientific research will be adversely affected to a significant extent if the only human cells that can be used to bring about the creation in vitro of embryos or human admixed embryos for use for the purposes of the project of research are -

(i) human cells in respect of which there is an effective consent to their use to bring about the creation in vitro of embryos or human admixed embryos for use for those purposes, or

(ii) human cells which by virtue of paragraph 16 can be used without such consent, and

(b) that any of the following conditions is met in relation to each of the persons whose human cells are qualifying cells which are to be used for the purposes of the project of research.

(2) Condition A is that -

(a) it is not reasonably possible for the person responsible under the licence (“R”) to identify the person falling within sub-paragraph (1)(b) (“P”), and

(b) where any information that relates to P (without identifying P or enabling P to be identified) is available to R, that information does not suggest that P would have objected to the use of P’s human cells to bring about the creation in vitro of an embryo or human admixed embryo for use for the purposes of the project.

(3) Condition B is that -

(a) the person responsible under the licence (“R”) has taken all reasonable steps to contact the person falling within subparagraph (1)(b) (“P”) but has been unable to do so,

(b) R does not have any reason to believe P to have died, and

(c) the information relating to P that is available to R does not suggest that P would have objected to the use of P’s human cells to bring about the creation in vitro of an embryo or human admixed embryo for use for the purposes of the project.

(4) Condition C is that -

(a) the person falling within sub-paragraph (1)(b) (“P”) has died since P’s human cells were first stored,

(b) the information relating to P that is available to the person responsible under the licence (“R”) does not suggest that P would have objected to the use of P’s human cells to bring about the creation in vitro of an embryo or human admixed embryo for use for the purposes of the project, and

(c) a person who stood in a qualifying relationship to P immediately before P died has given consent in writing to the use of P’s human cells to bring about the creation in vitro of an embryo or human admixed embryo for use for the purposes of the project.

(5) The HTA consent provisions apply in relation to consent for the purposes of sub-paragraph (4)(c) as they apply in relation to consent for the purposes of section 3(6)(c) of the Human Tissue Act 2004; and for the purposes of this sub-paragraph the HTA consent provisions are to be treated as if they extended to Scotland.

(6) In sub-paragraph (5) “the HTA consent provisions” means subsections (4), (5), (6), (7) and (8)(a) and (b) of section 27 of the Human Tissue Act 2004.

(7) In this paragraph references to the person responsible under the licence are to be read, in a case where an application for a licence is being made, as references to the person who is to be the person responsible.

(8) Paragraphs 1 to 4 of this Schedule do not apply in relation to a consent given for the purposes of sub-paragraph (4)(c).

Interpretation

22 (1) In this Schedule references to human cells are to human cells which are not -

(a) cells of the female or male germ line, or

(b) cells of an embryo.

(4) Reference in this Schedule (however expressed) to the use of human cells to bring about the creation of an embryo or a human admixed embryo include the use of human cells to alter the embryo or, as the case may be, the human admixed embryo.

(5) References in this Schedule to parental responsibility are -

(a) in relation to England and Wales, to be read in accordance with the Children Act 1989,

(b) in relation to Northern Ireland, to be read in accordance with the Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995, and

(c) in relation to Scotland, to be read as references to parental responsibilities and parental rights within the meaning of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995.

(6) References in this Schedule to capacity are, in relation to England and Wales, to be read in accordance with the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

(7) References in this Schedule to the age of 18 years are, in relation to Scotland, to be read as references to the age of 16 years.

22DInterpretation of mandatory requirements

Human cells may be used to create embryos or human admixed embryos in vitro for use in research, or embryos may be used in research, without the consent of the person providing the cells in the following circumstances:

a) If the person is under the age of 18

i) The Authority must be satisfied that specified parental consent conditions have been met.

ii) A parent of the person must have given effective consent on their behalf.

iii) The parental conditions must remain satisfied.

iv) The child must not have reached the age of 18, and must not have withdrawn or varied the consent, before the embryo is used for the research project.

b) If the person is an adult

i) The Authority  must be satisfied that specified conditions relating to adults and consent have been met.

ii) An appropriate person must have been consulted by the person responsible, and given suitable information and an opportunity to state what the adult’s wishes and feelings would have been about the proposed use of their cells for that purpose.

iii) The person consulted must not have stated that the adult would have been likely to refuse to consent.

iv) Consent must not have been validly withdrawn by the person providing the cells before the use of the cells or any resulting embryo or human admixed embryo.

For both a) and b), the cells or embryos (or cells derived from these) must have been lawfully stored for research purposes before 1 October 2009, and certain conditions must have been met.

Human admixed embryos: general requirements

Mandatory requirements

Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Act 1990 (as amended)

4A  Prohibitions in connection with genetic material not of human origin

(1) No person shall place in a woman -

(a) a human admixed embryo,

(b) any other embryo that is not a human embryo, or

(c) any gametes other than human gametes.

(2) No person shall -

(a) mix human gametes with animal gametes,

(b) bring about the creation of a human admixed embryo, or

(c) keep or use a human admixed embryo,

except in pursuance of a licence.

(3) A licence cannot authorise the keeping or using of a human admixed embryo after the earliest of the following -

(a) the appearance of the primitive streak, or

(b) the end of the period of 14 days beginning with the day on which the process of creating the human admixed embryo began, but not counting any time during which the human admixed embryo is stored.

(4) A licence cannot authorise placing a human admixed embryo in an animal.

(5) A licence cannot authorise keeping or using a human admixed embryo in any circumstances in which regulations prohibit its keeping or use.

(6) For the purposes of this Act a human admixed embryo is -

(a) an embryo created by replacing the nucleus of an animal egg or of an animal cell, or two animal pronuclei, with -

(i) two human pronuclei,

(ii) one nucleus of a human gamete or of any other human cell, or

(iii) one human gamete or other human cell,

(b) any other embryo created by using -

(i) human gametes and animal gametes, or

ii) one human pronucleus and one animal pronucleus,

(c) a human embryo that has been altered by the introduction of any sequence of nuclear or mitochondrial DNA of an animal into one or more cells of the embryo,

(d) a human embryo that has been altered by the introduction of one or more animal cells, or

(e) any embryo not falling within paragraphs (a) to (d) which contains both nuclear or mitochondrial DNA of a human and nuclear or mitochondrial DNA of an animal (“animal DNA”) but in which the animal DNA is not predominant.

(7) In subsection (6) -

(a) references to animal  cells are to cells of an animal or of an animal embryo, and

(b) references to human cells are to cells of a human or of a human embryo.

(8) For the purposes of this section an “animal” is an animal other than man.

(9) In this section “embryo” means a live embryo, including an egg that is in the process of fertilisation or is undergoing any other process capable of resulting in an embryo.

11 Licences for treatment, storage and research

(1) The Authority may grant the following and no other licences -

(b) licences under that Schedule authorising the storage of gametes, embryos or human admixed embryos

14 Conditions of storage licences

(1) The following shall be conditions of every licence authorising the storage of gametes, embryos or human admixed embryos -

(ac) that a human admixed embryo the creation of which has been brought about in vitro otherwise than in pursuance of that licence shall be placed in storage only if acquired from a person to whom a licence under paragraph 2 or 3 of Schedule 2 applies…

(ba) that human admixed embryos shall not be supplied to a person unless that person is a person to whom a licence applies,

(c) that no gametes, embryos or human admixed embryo shall be kept in storage for longer than the statutory storage period and, if stored at the end of the period, shall be allowed to perish,

(4A) The statutory storage period in respect of human admixed embryos is such period not exceeding ten years as the licence may specify.

Schedule 2

Licences for storage

2 (1A) A licence under this paragraph or paragraph 3 may authorise the storage of human admixed embryos (whether or not the licence also authorises the storage of gametes or embryos or both).

Licences for research

3 (3) A licence under this paragraph may authorise any of the following -

(a)  bringing about the creation in vitro of things that are human admixed embryos by virtue of paragraph (a), (b), (c) or (d) of section 4A(5), and

(b) keeping or using things that are human admixed embryos by virtue of any of those paragraphs, for the purposes of a project of research specified in the licence.

(4) A licence under sub-paragraph (3) may not authorise the activity which may be authorised by a licence under sub-paragraph (2).

(5) No licence under this paragraph is to be granted unless the Authority is satisfied that any proposed use of embryos or human admixed embryos is necessary for the purposes of the research.

Purposes for which activities may be licensed under paragraph 3

3A (1) A licence under paragraph 3 cannot authorise any activity unless the activity appears to the Authority -

(a) to be necessary or desirable for any of the purposes specified in sub-paragraph (2) (“the principal purposes”),

(b) to be necessary or desirable for the purpose of providing knowledge that, in the view of the Authority, may be capable of being applied for the purposes specified in sub-paragraph (2)(a) or (b), or

(c) to be necessary or desirable for such other purposes as may be specified in regulations.

(2) The principal purposes are -

(a) increasing knowledge about serious disease or other serious medical conditions,

(b) developing treatments for serious disease or other serious medical conditions,

(c) increasing knowledge about the causes of any congenital disease or congenital medical condition that does not fall within paragraph (a),

(d) promoting advances in the treatment of infertility,

(e) increasing knowledge about the causes of miscarriage,

(f) developing more effective techniques of contraception,

(g) developing methods for detecting the presence of gene, chromosome or mitochondrion abnormalities in embryos before implantation, or

(h) increasing knowledge about the development of embryos.

Schedule 3

Terms of consent

2 (1A) A consent to the use of any human admixed embryo must specify use for the purposes of a project of research and may specify conditions subject to which the human admixed embryo may be so used.

(2) A consent to the storage of any gametes, any embryo or any human admixed embryo must -

(a) specify the maximum period of storage (if less than the statutory storage period),

(b) except in a case falling within paragraph (c), state what is to be done with the gametes, embryo or human admixed embryo if the person who gave the consent dies or is unable, because the person lacks capacity to do so, to vary the terms of the consent or to withdraw it, and

(c) where the consent is given by virtue of paragraph 8(2A) or 13(2), state what is to be done with the embryo or human admixed embryo if the person to whom the consent relates dies,
and may (in any case) specify conditions subject to which the gametes, embryo or human admixed embryo may remain in storage.

(2A) A consent to the use of a person’s human cells to bring about the creation in vitro of an embryo or human admixed embryo is to be taken unless otherwise stated to include consent to the use of the cells after the person’s death.

(4) A consent under this Schedule may apply -

(a) to the use or storage of a particular embryo or human admixed embryo, or

(b) in the case of a person providing gametes or human cells, to the use or storage of -

(i) any embryo or human admixed embryo whose creation may be brought about using those gametes or those cells, and

(ii) any embryo or human admixed embryo whose creation may be brought about using such an embryo or human admixed embryo.

(5) In the case of a consent falling within sub-paragraph (4)(b), the terms of the consent may be varied, or the consent may be withdrawn, in accordance with this Schedule either generally or in relation to -

(a) a particular embryo or particular embryos, or

(b) a particular human admixed embryo or particular human admixed embryos.

Variation and withdrawal of consent

4 (1) The terms of any consent under this Schedule may from time to time be varied, and the consent may be withdrawn, by notice given by the person who gave the consent to the person keeping the gametes, human cells, embryo or human admixed embryo to which the consent is relevant.

(4) Subject to sub-paragraph (5), the terms of any consent to the use of any human admixed embryo cannot be varied, and such consent cannot be withdrawn, once the human admixed embryo has been used for the purposes of any project of research.

(5) Where the terms of any consent to the use of a human admixed embryo (“human admixed embryo A”) include consent to the use of a human admixed embryo or embryo whose creation may be brought about in vitro using human admixed embryo A, that consent to the use of that subsequent human admixed embryo or embryo cannot be varied or withdrawn once human admixed embryo A has been used for the purposes of any project of research.

Creation, use and storage of human admixed embryos

12 (1) A person’s gametes or human cells must not be used to bring about the creation of any human admixed embryo in vitro unless there is an effective consent by that person to any human admixed embryo, the creation of which may be brought about with the use of those gametes or human cells, being used for the purposes of any project of research.

(2) A human admixed embryo the creation of which was brought about in vitro must not be received by any person unless there is an effective consent by each relevant person in relation to the human admixed embryo to the use of the human admixed embryo for the purposes of any project of research.

(3) A human admixed embryo the creation of which was brought about in vitro must not be used for the purposes of a project of research unless -

(a) there is an effective consent by each relevant person in relation to the human admixed embryo to the use of the human admixed embryo for that purpose, and

(b) the human admixed embryo is used in accordance with those consents.

(4) If the Authority is satisfied that the parental consent conditions in paragraph 15 are met in relation to the proposed use under a licence of the human cells of a person who has not attained the age of 18 years (“C”), the Authority may in the licence authorise the application of sub-paragraph (5) in relation to C.

(5) Where the licence authorises the application of this subparagraph, the effective consent of a person having parental responsibility for C -

(a) to the use of C’s human cells to bring about the creation of a human admixed embryo in vitro for use for the purposes of a project of research, or

(b) to the use for those purposes of a human admixed embryo in relation to which C is a relevant person by reason only of the use of C’s human cells,

is to be treated for the purposes of sub-paragraphs (1) to (3) as the effective consent of C.

(6) If C attains the age of 18 years or the condition in paragraph 15(3) ceases to be met in relation to C, paragraph 4 has effect in relation to C as if any effective consent previously given under subparagraphs (1) to (3) by a person having parental responsibility for C had been given by C but, subject to that, sub-paragraph (5) ceases to apply in relation to C.

13 (1) A human admixed embryo the creation of which was brought about in vitro must not be kept in storage unless -

(a) there is an effective consent by each relevant person in relation to the human admixed embryo to the storage of the human admixed embryo, and

(b) the human admixed embryo is stored in accordance with those consents.

(2) Where a licence authorises the application of paragraph 12(5) in relation to a person who has not attained the age of 18 years (“C”), the effective consent of a person having parental responsibility for C to the storage of a human admixed embryo in relation to which C is a relevant person by reason only of the use of C’s human cells is to be treated for the purposes of sub-paragraph (1) as the effective consent of C.

(3) If C attains the age of 18 years or the condition in paragraph 15(3) ceases to be met in relation to C, paragraph 4 has effect in relation to C as if any effective consent previously given under subparagraph (1) by a person having parental responsibility for C had been given by C but, subject to that, sub-paragraph (2) ceases to apply in relation to C.

14 For the purposes of paragraphs 12 and 13, each of the following is a relevant person in relation to a human admixed embryo the creation of which was brought about in vitro (“human admixed embryo A”) -

(a) each person whose gametes or human cells were used to bring about the creation of human admixed embryo A,

(b) each person whose gametes or human cells were used to bring about the creation of any embryo, the creation of which was brought about in vitro, which was used to bring about the creation of human admixed embryo A, and

(c) each person whose gametes or human cells were used to bring about the creation of any other human admixed embryo, the creation of which was brought about in vitro, which was used to bring about the creation of human admixed embryo A.

22EInterpretation of mandatory requirements

The law prohibits:

a) human admixed embryos being placed in a woman, or

b) human admixed embryos being kept or used after 14 days from when the process of creating the embryo began or after the primitive streak has appeared (if earlier than 14 days).

Human admixed embryos: information provided to donors

22FInterpretation of mandatory requirements

The law requires that before a person consents to donating embryos, gametes or cells to create human admixed embryos for research purposes, they should be given:

a) enough information to understand the nature, purpose and implications of their donation

b) information about the procedure for varying or withdrawing any consent given, including the fact that they can do this only until the human admixed embryos are used in the research project.

NOTE: Human admixed embryos will be regarded as having been used for research as soon as they are under the control of the researchers and are being cultured for use in research.

  • 22.20

    The centre should inform any individual who donates cells for creating human admixed embryos for research that, unless they state otherwise, consent to use these cells includes consent to do so after the individual’s death.

Human admixed embryos: consent and storage

22GInterpretation of mandatory requirements

The law requires written, signed consent (subject to specific exemption for illness, injury or disability) from any individual before they donate gametes or human cells used to create human admixed embryos in vitro for use in any research project.

The consent must specify the maximum storage period (which must be less than the 10-year statutory storage period for human admixed embryos).

This consent can be varied or withdrawn at any time until the embryo has been used for the purposes of the research project.

In certain situations, the law permits human cells to be used to create human admixed embryos without the consent of the person providing them.

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Code of Practice version: 8