As the Deputy will be aware, the Government approved the drafting of a Bill on assisted human reproduction (AHR) and associated areas of research in October last year and the General Scheme is published on my Department’s website. Officials in my Department are engaging with the Office of the Attorney General in relation to the process of drafting this Bill. In addition, the Joint Committee on Health is currently conducting a review of the General Scheme of the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill 2017 as part of the pre-legislative scrutiny process, which began in January of this year.
Part 7 of the General Scheme outlines specific conditions and restrictions relating to research and activities involving the editing of the human genome. Under the General Scheme, where the genome of a human gamete or embryo has been edited such that the genetic change could be passed on to children and future generations, then it is prohibited to insert or transfer such a gamete or embryo into the body of a woman in an effort to achieve a pregnancy.
Part 9 of the General Scheme clarifies that contravening this provision would constitute an offence.