Wednesday, 31 March 2021
Department of Health
Assisted Human Reproduction
848. To ask the Minister for Health the position on advancing legislation and policy on assisted human reproduction health matters; the estimated legislative timeline; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17717/21]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 848 and 849 together.
As the Deputy will be aware, drafting of a bill on assisted human reproduction (AHR) and associated areas of research, based on the published General Scheme of the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill, is ongoing by officials in my Department, in conjunction with the Office of the Attorney General. I can assure the Deputy that publication of this legislation is a priority for my Department and the Government, and a commitment to enact this legislation is included in the Programme for Government, “Our Shared Future”.
This comprehensive and far-reaching piece of legislation encompasses the regulation, for the first time in Ireland, of a wide range of practices, including: gamete (sperm or egg) and embryo donation for AHR and research; domestic surrogacy; pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) of embryos; posthumous assisted reproduction; and embryo and stem cell research. The General Scheme also provides for the establishment of an independent regulatory authority for AHR.
Overall, the provisions outlined within the Bill will ensure that AHR practices and related areas of research are conducted in a more consistent and standardised way and with the necessary oversight. The aim of the AHR legislation is to promote and ensure the health and safety of parents and others involved in the process while, most importantly, consideration of the welfare and best interests of children born as a result of AHR is the key principle underpinning all legislative measures in this area.