Who decides how genetic technologies like PGD, gene therapy, and cloning are used?
In the UK there are various bodies responsible for regulating genetic research. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority licenses and monitors any research work involving human eggs and embryos. This includes research into human embryonic stem cells, and the therapeutic cloning work being done at Newcastle. They also regulate and inspect all UK clinics providing IVF, donor insemination or the storage of eggs, sperm or embryos. The Gene Therapy Advisory Committee (GTAC) is responsible for advising the UK government on gene therapy research and its implications. All gene therapy trials are required by GTAC to meet accepted ethical criteria for research on human subjects. Gene therapy trials are currently limited to life-threatening diseases, where no other alternative treatments are available.