Key laws and policies
- Prohibition of Human Cloning for Reproduction and the Regulation of Human Embryo Research Amendment Bill (2006, in force June 12, 2007)
- National Health and Medical Research Council, National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007)
- National Health and Medical Research Council, Ethical Guidelines on the Use of Assisted Reproductive Technology in Clinical Practice and Research (September 2004)
Federal legislation in Australia bans reproductive cloning and inheritable genetic modification.
Individual states have the authority to permit or prohibit research cloning.
The Ethical Guidelines on the Use of Assisted Reproductive Technology in Clinical Practice and Research, issued by the National Health and Medical Research Council, is the policy document of the body that regulates assisted reproductive technology and related research. The Guidelines prohibit commercial surrogacy, and limit the use of preimplantation genetic diagnosis to the avoidance of serious medical conditions. They do, however, encourage further public discussion of these and other issues.
The Guidelines are not mere recommendations, but there are potential limitations due to Australia's federal system. Laws among states vary. However, the Department of Human Services of South Australia says that "States must comply with the NHMRC Guidelines unless specific legislation regulating reproductive technology overrides."
The Australian Health Ethics Committee, which governs how medical research is conducted, ruled in 2005 that sex selection techniques should not be used in Australia.
Permitted and regulated practices
Providing eggs for reproduction or for research is limited to noncommercial transactions.
The 2006 Act amended and broadened the scope of previous legislation:
- For a summary, see National Health and Medical Research Council, "Stem Cells, Cloning and Related Issues," accessed June 23, 2008
- Department of Human Services of South Australia, "Reproductive Technology: Legislation around Australia"
- Anita Stuhmcke, "For Love or Money: the Legal Regulation of Surrogate Motherhood," E Law - Murdoch University Electronic Journal of Law (vol 3, no 1, May 1996)
- Singapore Bioethics Advisory Committee, "Donation Of Human Eggs For Research: A Consultation Paper" (November 7, 2007)