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Ethical guidelines on the use of assisted reproductive technology in clinical practice and research

Closed on Thursday, 17 September 2015, 05:00pm (AEST). Submissions are no longer being accepted.

The National Health and Medical Research Council is reviewing Part B of the Ethical guidelines on the use of assisted reproductive technology in clinical practice and research, 2007 (the ART guidelines) which provide ethical guidance for the clinical practice of ART. The review has also necessitated changes to Part A (the introduction) of the ART guidelines. Part C (ethical guidelines for research) is not currently under review.

The Australian Health Ethics Committee (AHEC) is overseeing the review, with the assistance of the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Working Committee.

An initial public consultation on the existing Part B of the ART guidelines was undertaken over 11 March – 30 April 2014. Sixty-five submissions were received. All submissions received during this consultation were considered during the development of the draft public consultation document (draft Parts A and B of the ART guidelines). Non-confidential submissions are now available from the NHMRC Public Consultation website.

The draft public consultation document identifies ethical principles that must inform the conduct of clinicians and the development and use of procedures in ART clinics. These ethical principles are supported by practical guidelines for complying with the ethical principles. Topics covered include:

  • use and storage of human eggs, sperm and embryos
  • specific situations such as fertility preservation, surrogacy, preimplantation genetic testing, the collection and use of eggs and sperm from persons who are deceased or dying, and the use of stored eggs, sperm and embryos after the death of a person
  • information giving, counselling and consent requirements.

Further information about the development of the draft public consultation document is available from NHMRC’s website.

Scope of the public consultation

Comments are invited on the content of the draft public consultation document (Parts A and B of the ART guidelines).

AHEC wishes to consult further on the following three issues, before a position or a statement on each issue is included in the final version:

  • sex selection for non-medical purposes
  • compensation of Australian women for the reproductive effort and risks associated with donating their eggs
  • establishment of an Australian donor egg bank.

The ethical guidelines for research (Part C of the ART guidelines) are outside the scope of the review and comments received regarding Part C of the ART guidelines and the use of human embryos in research will not be considered by AHEC.

Consultation documents

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Consultation date

Please note the Timezone is AEST.

Opening date: 
Thursday, 23 July 2015 - 10:30am
Closing date: 
Thursday, 17 September 2015 - 5:00pm
Extension: 
Please note that for some NHMRC consultations no extensions will be given. Where extensions are available you will need to contact the project officer using the contact details at the bottom of this page. However, in order for NHMRC to extend the date of a submission you will need to have created an account and started a submission.
Contact for further information
T: (02) 6217 9000
Public submissions

Page reviewed: 23 July, 2015