25 March 2013
You are invited to attend the Progress Educational Trust’s FREE public debate ‘NICE TRY…BUT IS ANYONE LISTENING?‘ at London’s Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists on the evening of Tuesday 16 April 2013. This event is taking place from 6.30pm-8pm, and is sponsored by the British Fertility Society.
The debate will see speakers including DR JAMES KINGSLAND (President of the National Association of Primary Care) and DR YACOUB KHALAF (Director of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust’s Assisted Conception Unit) debate the key changes that have recently been made to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)’s Clinical Guideline on Fertility.
The provision of fertility services on the NHS has fallen short of the standards set by NICE’s original 2004 fertility guideline. The updated guideline expands the range of people who may be eligible for NHS-funded treatment, giving hope to those who may previously have been denied treatment on grounds including age or having a same-sex partner. These hopes may be dashed, however, if the current provision of fertility treatment does not improve.
This debate will consider the current levels of access to treatment in England, as well as the finer detail of the updated fertility guideline and what the future holds. If you should like to attend, please RSVP by email at sstarr [at] progress.org.uk
In addition to being invited to attend the 16 April event, you are also invited to respond to an online poll about donor conception which forms part of its Wellcome Trust supported project ‘WHEN IT TAKES MORE THAN TWO’.
The poll contains six questions (all of which were suggested by audiences at the Progress Educational Trust’s last three public events) and takes only a few minutes to complete. All responses will be anonymous.
13 February 2013
You are invited to attend the Progress Educational Trust’s FREE public debate ‘BEING: THE DONOR-CONCEIVED PERSPECTIVE‘ at University College London on the evening of Thursday 28 February 2013. This event is taking place from 6.30pm-8.30pm, and forms part of the Wellcome Trust supported project ‘WHEN IT TAKES MORE THAN TWO’.
The debate will see speakers including DR TABITHA FREEMAN (of the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Family Research), CHRISTINE GUNTER (Coordinator of the voluntary contact register UK DonorLink, which is now closing following Government funding cuts) and two donor-conceived people (KEVIN MOORE and JESS PEARCE) – chaired by PROFESSOR ERIC BLYTH (Co-chair of the British Association of Social Workers’ Project Group on Assisted Reproduction) – give contrasting perspectives on questions including:
• Are people entitled to know that they are donor-conceived? (Their parents are under no formal obligation to inform them, even now that entitlement to donor anonymity has been removed.) What impact does how and when someone discovers that they are donor-conceived have upon them?
• What are the ramifications for donor-conceived people of the recent High Court ruling – that permitted two sperm donors in a same-sex relationship to apply for contact with their biological children, conceived through a known donation arrangement with two different lesbian couples?
• Is there a point at which it should be the prerogative of donor-conceived people, rather than the prerogative of their parents, to decide who is and is not informed of the fact that they are donor-conceived? If so, then when does this occur and how?
• What is the impact upon donor-conceived people of discovering that they have (in some instances, an enormous number of) genetic half-siblings, in the form of the children of the donor who conceived them and/or other people who were conceived with that donor’s gametes? Should the tracing of half-siblings be encouraged and facilitated?
• What support will be provided to the first generation of donor-conceived people legally entitled to initiate contact with the relevant donors? Who will provide this support, and how will it be funded? In light of the closure of UK Donor Link, what options are available to those who were donor-conceived prior to the 1991 formation of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority?
If you should like to attend, please RSVP by email to Sandy Starr: sstarr [at] progress.org.uk
26 July 2012
City University London’s Oliver Thompson Lecture Theatre from 6.30pm-8.30pm on Tuesday 25 September 2012
The debate is organised by Progress Educational Trust in partnership with City University’s Science Journalism course. The debate concerns new IVF techniques that use genetic material from three people in order to to prevent children from inheriting mitochondrial diseases, and will address the question (the subject of a forthcoming HFEA consultation) of whether there should be a change in the law to permit the use of these new techniques in a clinical trial or in treatment.
The debate will be chaired by PROFESSOR SIR MARK WALPORT (outgoing Director of the Wellcome Trust and incoming Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government), and will feature speakers MARY HERBERT (Professor of Reproductive Biology at Newcastle University and one of the researchers currently developing mitochondrial exchange techniques), ALISON MAGUIRE (Research Executive at the Lily Foundation for Research into Mitochondrial Disease), MARTIN RICHARDS (Emeritus Professor of Family Research at the University of Cambridge), DR JACKIE LEACH SCULLY (Codirector of Newcastle University’s Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Centre), and JOHN WYATT (Emeritus Professor of Ethics and Perinatology at University College London).
If you would like to attend this free debate, please RSVP to Sandy Starr by email at sstarr [at] progress.org.uk
26 July 2012
University College London’s Darwin Lecture Theatre from 6.30pm-8.30pm on Tuesday 11 September 2012
The debate is being organised by Progress Educational Trust in partnership with the Anne McLaren Memorial Fund. The debate concerns the uncertain future of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), and will address the question (currently the subject of a Government consultation) of whether or not the HFEA should be abolished and to whom its functions might be transferred.
The debate will be chaired by PETER BRAUDE (Emeritus Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at King’s College London), and will feature speakers FRANK DOBSON (Labour MP for Holborn and St Pancras), NATALIE GAMBLE (Solicitor at Natalie Gamble Associates, mother of donor-conceived children and egg donor), and ALISON MURDOCH (Head of the Fertility Centre at the Newcastle Centre for Life and Professor of Reproductive Medicine at Newcastle University).
To attend this FREE public debate, please RSVP to Sandy Starr: sstarr [at] progress.org.uk