The Human Reproductive Technology Ordinance enacted by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, though not yet in operation, regulates the creation, use and manipulation of an embryo, whether or not the embryo is to be implanted into the body of a woman. The ordinance defines an embryo as, “a live human embryo where fertilization is complete; and references to an embryo include an egg in the process of fertilization, and, for this purpose, fertilization is not complete until the appearance of a 2 cell zygote.” The creation of embryos for research, somatic cell nuclear transfer and embryo cloning are all procedures that are prohibited by the ordinance under section 15 (1).
Other normative measures
The Ethical Guidelines on Human Embryonic Stem Cell regulate the derivation of embryonic stem cells used for research. According to these guidelines, human reproductive cloning is prohibited while cloning for therapeutic or research purposes is allowed. Furthermore, the creation of embryos for stem cell research is not permitted.
The guidelines state that human embryonic stem cells used for research be derived only from “spared (sic) gamete or blastula after IVF,” “fetal cells after natural or voluntarily selective abortion,” “blastula or monosexual split blastula by somatic cell nucleus transfer technique,” and “germ cells voluntarily donated” (art. 5). The Guidelines on Assisted Reproductive Technologies for Human Beings adopted by the Ministry of Health also ban reproductive cloning explicitly.
- Bioethics Committee, Southern China National Human Gene Research Center, Ethical Guidelines for Human Embryo Stem-Cell Research, (October 2001).
- Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, The Human Reproductive Technology Ordinance, An Ordinance No. 47 (Gazette, Legal Supplement No. 1 to No. 26, Vol. 4, June 2000, pp. A1691-A1777, amended 2002),
- Ministry of Health, Guidelines on Assisted Reproductive Technologies for Human Beings, (July 2003).
- Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Health, Ethical Guidelines on Human Embryonic Stem Cell, (January 2004), http://www.chinaphs.org/bioethics/regulations_&_laws.htm#_Toc113106142
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