The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 : restrictions on the creation of “saviour siblings” and the relevance of the harm principle

Smith, Malcolm K. (2013) The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 : restrictions on the creation of “saviour siblings” and the relevance of the harm principle. New Genetics and Society, 32(2), pp. 154-170.

View at publisher


This paper provides an overview of the regulatory developments in the UK which impact on the use of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryo screening techniques for the creation of “saviour siblings.” Prior to the changes implemented under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008, this specific use of IVF was not addressed by the legislative framework and regulated only by way of policy issued by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). Following the implementation of the statutory reforms, a number of restrictive conditions are now imposed on the face of the legislation. This paper considers whether there is any justification for restricting access to IVF and pre-implantation tissue typing for the creation of “saviour siblings.” The analysis is undertaken by examining the normative factors that have guided the development of the UK regulatory approach prior to the 2008 legislative reforms. The approach adopted in relation to the “saviour sibling” issue is compared to more general HFEA policy, which has prioritized the notion of reproductive choice and determined that restrictions on access are only justified on the basis of harm considerations.

Impact and interest:

1 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 60262
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
DOI: 10.1080/14636778.2013.788358
ISSN: 1469-9915 (online) 1463-6778 (print)
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > OTHER LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (189900) > Law and Legal Studies not elsewhere classified (189999)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Health Law Research
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Taylor & Francis
Deposited On: 27 May 2013 22:42
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2013 15:49

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page