Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Some good news: Hashmi appeal successful

Raj and Shahana Hashmi are a couple whose son, Zain, suffers from a rare blood disorder which requires a bone marrow transplant. They have been unsuccessful in finding a match for their son and wanted to use IVF to pre-select an embryo whose bone marrow would match his. The treatment was challenged in the courts by a pro-life group, Comment on Reproductive Ethics (CORE). The High Court ruled against the Hashmis and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which had licenced the treatment, in December 2002. That decision has now been overturned on appeal by the Court of Appeal.

I hope that the Hashmis are successful in having a child that is a match and that all concerned go on to healthy and happy lives. At a time when precaution and anti-science sentiment seem to have such a hold, this is a welcome development.

Having said that, it is a pity that the HFEA have singularly failed to cover themselves in glory by refusing similar applications in the past, as Josie Appleton points out.

'Designer baby' ban quashed, BBC News, 8 April 2003

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