The Ethical guidelines on the use of assisted reproductive technology in clinical practice and research (ART guidelines) are used by professional organisations to set standards for the practice of ART. The 2023 update includes the addition of Part D to support the ethical introduction of mitochondrial donation into ART in Australia, along with minor administrative updates to the 2017 guidelines.
The Ethical guidelines on the use of assisted reproductive technology in clinical practice and research (ART Guidelines) are used by professional organisations to set ethical standards for the clinical practice of ART and associated research. The guidelines are primarily intended for use by ART clinicians, clinic nurses, embryologists, counsellors and administrators, researchers, Human Research Ethics Committees and governments.
National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) issued a substantial update to the ART Guidelines on 20 April 2017. A subsequent limited review was conducted in 2022–23 to support the ethical introduction of mitochondrial donation into ART in Australia. This includes ethical guidance on the practice of mitochondrial donation techniques in clinical practice and research.
The updated ART Guidelines, incorporating the Mitochondrial Donation Supplementary Section as Part D were issued on 17 April 2023.
ART Guidelines (Mito) Working Committee
The Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Guidelines (Mito) Working Committee was established on 5 July 2022 with a limited scope to advise the Australian Health Ethics Committee (AHEC) on changes that may be required to the 2017 ART Guidelines to accommodate the ethical introduction of mitochondrial donation, and to propose revised or new guideline text. Appointments to the ART Guidelines (Mito) Working Committee concluded on 31 December 2022.
The ART Guidelines (Mito) Working Committee presented the Mitochondrial Donation Supplementary Section (Supplementary Section) to AHEC following their limited review. AHEC released the draft Supplementary Section for public consultation between 9 November and 19 December 2022.
Nineteen submissions were received and informed AHEC’s refinement of the final version of the Supplementary Section. This review also saw AHEC make minor administrative changes to the 2017 text to maintain currency.
Overview of the ART Guidelines
The ART Guidelines are divided into four parts:
- Part A provides background and introductory material
- Part B provides ethical guidelines for the clinical practice of ART
- Part C provides ethical guidelines for research consistent with the Prohibition of Human Cloning for Reproduction Act 2002 (PHCR Act) and the Research Involving Human Embryos Act 2002 (RIHE Act)
- Part D provides ethical guidelines for the practice of mitochondrial donation in clinical practice and research consistent with the PHCR Act and the RIHE Act.
You can read more about the guidelines on the Ethical guidelines for Assisted Reproductive Technology page.
Previous versions of the ART Guidelines
Previous versions of the ART Guidelines can be accessed from the National Library of Australia’s web archive.