Press Release

Tánaiste welcomes publication of the report of the Commission on Assisted Human Reproduction

The Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney TD, has been presented with the report of the Commission on Assisted Human Reproduction, which was established in March 2000. The Government has referred the report to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health and Children for consideration and has authorised its publication by the Commission.

The Tánaiste in welcoming the report said: ‘The issues examined by the Commission are clearly difficult and emotive for many people. Some of the issues it examined go to the core of our concepts of human dignity and personhood; however, the Commission approached its work from the standpoint that AHR is a positive development in reproductive medicine; it offers the possibility of parenthood to involuntarily infertile people. I am pleased that the best interests of the child born though AHR were fundamental in the Commission’s priorities throughout its deliberations.’

The Tánaiste added: ‘It is not satisfactory that there is no statuary regulation in the area of assisted reproduction, but in advance of the Government framing such regulation, the Commissions report needs to be subjected to public and political consideration. Therefore to allow for this in the first instance the Government have referred the report to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health and Children to consider the recommendations of the Commission.”

The Tánaiste paid tribute to the hard work and commitment of the Chairperson and members of the Commission in examining this difficult and controversial area. ‘The Chairperson, Professor Dervilla Donnelly, Commission members and all those who participated in its work have given their invaluable expertise and time to produce this comprehensive report. I thank them for their dedication to the Commission’s work.’