MEETING WITH HEALTH AND SCIENCE MINISTERS
On 7 December 1999, we received oral evidence
from John Denham MP, Minister of State for Health; Yvette Cooper
MP, Minister for Public Health; and the Lord Sainsbury of Turville,
Minister for Science and Innovation.
The witnesses answered questions
directed cell cultureQQ
the possibility of an NHS-wide genetic databaseQQ 31-38;
the NHS research and development strategyQQ 39-43.
The transcript of our exchanges is appended
to this Report. Also appended are prior background memoranda on
each of the three main topics from the Department of Health and
We have had a long-standing interest in the
development of clinical academic careers. On that matter, this
Report may therefore be read as a continuation of the Committee's
Reports from 1995 on Medical Research and the NHS Reforms
and from 1997 on Clinical Academic Careers.
In the case of the NHS research and development strategy, our
interest goes back to our 1988 Report Priorities in Medical
Prospects for directed cell culture and a possible
NHS-wide genetic database are much newer issues. This was the
first occasion on which we have considered these potentially exciting
but complex topics.
1 This covers a variety of procedures and techniques.
As the subject first emerged from the possible application of
human cloning techniques for therapeutic purposes, it is often
referred to as "therapeutic cloning" or "cell nucleus
replacement". More recently, the prospect has emerged of
achieving similar therapeutic ends through the culture of pluripotential
stem cells. We have adopted the term "directed cell culture"
to indicate this larger field of what might also be called tissue
3rd Report 1994-95, HL Paper 12. Back
3rd Report 1997-98, HL Paper 47. Back
3rd Report 1987-88, HL Paper 54. Back