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Tuesday, 12 November 2002
Page: 6156

Senator PATTERSON (Minister for Health and Ageing) (10:37 PM) — Senator Abetz has moved an amendment to the definition of `excess ART embryo' to substitute the term `a woman' with `a particular woman'. I understand from the second reading speech and from what Senator Abetz has just said that the basis of the concern was that clause 14 referred to `in creating an embryo is to attempt to achieve a pregnancy in a particular woman', while the definition of `excess ART embryo' only referred to `a woman'.

The definition of `excess ART embryo' in clause 8 refers to a human embryo created, by assisted reproductive technology, for use in the assisted reproductive technology treatment of a woman and which is excess to the needs of that woman and her spouse. My advice is that the inclusion of an additional word in paragraph (a) of the definition to refer to the use in the ART treatment of `a particular woman' would not make a substantial difference. This is because the term `excess ART embryo' is only used within the meaning of `reasonable expenses' in clause 23 of the bill, which relates to commercial trading not to creation of the embryo. The word `particular' in this context is not required, as it adds nothing to the meaning of clause 23. With regard to clause 14, it is this clause which makes it an offence to create an embryo outside the body, except for attempting to achieve pregnancy in `a particular woman'. In this case the prohibition does rest on the act of creation and the word `particular' is required.