REGULATING HUMAN REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGIES EXAMINED ASSIGNMENT 2014/15
Answer one of the following questions in up to 3000 words, excluding the bibliography. A page consisting entirely of diagrams, tables or figures counts as 250 words, and smaller diagrams, tables
or figures are counted proportionately. The 3000 word paper should include an executive summary of the main recommendations of around 200 words.
Penalties apply for exceeding the word limit.
Your government department or international organisation is preparing to produce a definitive statement updating policy in the field of human reproduction and reproductive technology. Provide a briefing to the department on one of the topics listed below. Your briefing should make recommendations as to what proposals, if any, ought to be developed and included in the statement.
a. Regulation of gamete, embryo and mitochondrial donation b. IVF funding and access
c. Regulation of use of artificial gametes d. Cross-border reproductive care
You are special adviser to a new minister in the UK Department of Health and receive the following message: “I want to review our policy on mitochondrial replacement therapies. I am not absolutely convinced yet that we should support licensing the practice. What are the issues here and should we be supporting this as a matter of government policy?”. Write a response in the form of a policy brief.
You are a health policy adviser to a non-UK government. You receive the following
message from a Cabinet member: “The UK seems to be moving towards licensing mitochondrial replacement therapies. Nowhere else allows this. Is this something we should be looking at?”. Write a response in the form of a policy brief.
Your national or state government is updating policy on human reproductive technologies
and is considering adopting the UK regulatory model by creating a specialist regulator with identical powers to those currently held by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. Provide a brief on the likely consequences of this proposal, giving a recommendation as to whether such a policy should be pursued.
The best assignments will:
? Produce a critical analysis of the chosen topic
? Show evidence of considerable research, reading and effort, including the provision of a correctly referenced bibliography
? Have collected and assimilated appropriate material on the topic
? Demonstrate understanding of the theory and policy implications relevant to the topic chosen
? Deliver a well-written, well-structured and analytic report that is appropriate for the purpose described.
Elements of a good policy brief will include:
x Concision: the brief should provide enough information for the user to understand the issue and to come to a decision
x Evidence: the brief should aim for a balanced assessment of the state of knowledge and research on the issue drawn from a range of sources. The brief should consider whether the evidence is reliable, representative, methodologically sound etc. and should note where uncertainty exists.
x Presenting message over method: The brief should inform and persuade. Less emphasis on
‘showing your working’
x Balancing briefing and advocacy: The best submissions will successfully integrate and balance the two tasks of the brief 1) informing the user about the nature of a policy problem and the options for addressing it 2) persuading the user to pursue a particular course of action
x Clear and realistic recommendations: the policy options recommended should take into account political, economic and technical feasibility and should make a reasoned judgement of the costs, risks and benefits of each option considered, and particularly of those recommended. Where there are obstacles to implementation of the recommendations, these should be noted and suggestions should be made for overcoming these.
x Appreciation of audience: the brief should be accessible to non-specialists and free of jargon. The amount of background information provided should be appropriate to the briefee and the prior knowledge they are likely to hold on the subject.
x Efficiency of communication: the recipient of the brief should be apprised of the essential information in the most efficient way possible. Where information is best presented in the form of graphs, tables or diagrams these should be used.
x Scannable: It is not unreasonable to expect that a policy brief will often be skim read rather than read with close attention to detail. The structure, tone and content of the brief should reflect this. Holding the reader’s attention is key. Dense sections of text will cause attention to wane, as will numbers (particularly in-text) unless used judiciously.
You are required to provide references and a bibliography. In the text you are advised to use Harvard-style in-text reference [like this : (McCombie, 2012)]. Similarly, the bibliography must be complete with full information, using a standard referencing system such as Harvard