§ Lord Kennet
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What are the grounds on which Her Majesty's Government has decided that patients with conditions that might be alleviated by the therapeutic use of fetal tissue may not know whether that tissue is derived from a naturally occurring miscarriage or from an induced abortion, and whether this decision does not discriminate against those patients for whom induced abortion is, as a matter of conscience, unacceptable.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Hooper)
In June 1988 the Government set up the Polkinghorne Committee to review existing guidance on the use of fetal tissue and fetuses for research recommended by the Peel Committee in 1972. The report of the Polkinghorne Committee was published in July 1989 and the Government announced the same month its acceptance of the committee's recommendations. A main recommendation of the committee was that great care should be taken to separate the decisions relating to abortion and to the subsequent use of fetal material. For the reasons given in paragraph 4.2 of the report it follows that no information about the source of the fetal tissue should be transmitted to the user.