Section 19(3) of the Research Involving Human Embryos Act 2002 requires the NHMRC Licensing Committee to table six monthly reports in either House of Parliament on or before 30 June and 31 December each year, and at any other time as required by either House of Parliament. The reports must include information about both the operation of this Act and licences issued under the Act.
NHMRC Licensing Committee Report to the Parliament of Australia
Information for prospective embryo donors
The Research Involving Human Embryos Act 2002 established a regulatory system for the use of certain human embryos in research. This system provides couples who have spare embryos that were created for their assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatment, such as in vitro fertilisation, with the option of donating these embryos to research. The NHMRC Licensing Committee has produced a leaflet which explains this and other options that are available to couples in relation to embryos which are excess to their reproductive needs.
'Human Embryo' - A biological definition
The NHMRC Licensing Committee developed this discussion in response to a request from the Council of the NHMRC for a definition of 'human embryo' from a purely biological standpoint. The paper was presented to Council in December 2005 and members recommended that the report be released as a discussion paper to provide an opportunity for a wider audience to comment on the biological definition of 'human embryo'. The definition proposed in this paper was subsequently adopted by the Australian Parliament in the Regulation of Human Embryo Research Amendment Act 2006 to replace the previously used definition of ‘human embryo’.