Free Access Articles
- The avoidance of twin or higher-order multiple pregnancies is in the best interest of families, medical practitioners and health services, given the health hazards and costs associated with higher-order multiples. This commentary explores the background to and ideas in the paper by Legendre et al., (2013), which makes the case for separate consideration of the various issues around selective termination of a multiple pregnancy and fetal reduction. The exploration does so mainly within the context of UK law and practice, but has international relevance.
- The UK Government has proposed that the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) should be abolished and its functions transferred to the Care Quality Commission. This commentary explores the problems with this proposal and suggests that an independent review of how the HFEA carries out its functions and a subsequent reform of some of its practices represent a better option for the UK.
- While the regulatory role of the HFEA, its independence and its shortcomings are debated in the context of a fiscal economic crisis, the larger sociological importance of the Authority may be overlooked. Harder to calculate than its annual budget and more elusive than its technical remit as a licensing body, the cultural value of the HFEA as a historical and symbolic entity that was born out of a pioneering debate unique to the UK must be included in a discussion of its future role. Against its perceived shortcomings as an expensive and outdated quango is the importance of the Authority as a public instrument for enhancing the future of translational bioscience.