Press Release

Statement by Mary Harney TD, Minister for Health and Children, on the R v R: High Court Frozen Embryos Case

The Minister notes the outcome of the High Court case on the question of the status of the three frozen embryos that were the subject of the proceedings in the case.

The Commission on Assisted Human Reproduction was established in March 2000. Its terms of reference were: ‘To prepare a report on the possible approaches to the regulation of all aspects of assisted human reproduction and the social, ethical and legal factors to be taken into account in determining public policy in this area.’

The Commission conducted an intensive and analytical examination of AHR issues, and its conclusions derive from this wide research. Its report was prepared after twenty three meetings. It also consulted widely and sought submissions from the public.

The Commission’s report was published in May last year and the Government decided to refer the report to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health and Children. This process is intended to allow for further consideration of the complex issues involved and the Committee’s report, along with the report of the Commission on Assisted Human Reproduction, will help to inform future policy in this area.

The Minister has already instructed her Department to begin preparing for legislation is this area and today’s judgement will be examined by the Department as part of this process.