Policy Work and Legitimacy at the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, and the Department of Health

  • Rebecca Dimond
  • Neil Stephens


The mitochondrial donation debates were punctuated by a set of reports produced by key institutional bodies. Here we focus upon three to analyse the boundary and legitimacy work inherent to their conduct. Based on calls for evidence and expert/public consultations, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics concluded mitochondrial donation was ethical if safe, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) found it was not unsafe and it had broad public support, and the Department of Health (DoH) employed a ‘working definition’ of genetic modification which positioned legalisation as unproblematic. We then locate these conclusions in relation to the concerns of some in the against-cluster about collusion, legitimacy and representativeness.


Bioethics Policy work Nuffield Council on Bioethics Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority Department of Health 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social SciencesCardiff UniversityCardiffUK
  2. 2.Social and Political SciencesBrunel University LondonLondonUK

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