Friday, May 13, 2005

California Stem Cell Legislation Amended

California State Sen. Deborah Ortiz has modified her legislation to tighten controls on the stem cell agency and protect egg donors.

According to the office of the Sacramento Democrat, the measure, SB18, has been amended to:

"Reduce the scope of the audit required by the bill by deleting 2 of the 5 requested items and limiting the review of contracts to a sample of contracts, and defer the deadline for the initial audit by three months.

"Extend the timeline for follow-up audits, if further review by the auditor finds they are needed.

"Clarify that the informed consent procedures contained in the bill for physicians who administer assisted oocyte production (AOP) for purposes of facilitating donation of eggs for medical research supplant and do not replace existing informed consent requirements."

As amended the bill does the following:

"Requires the (State) Auditor to conduct an initial audit of the Institute and ICOC by June 30, 2006.

"Requires the audit to include a review of the strategic policies and plans developed by the Institute and ICOC and policies and procedures for issuing contracts and for protection of intellectual property rights associated with research funded by the Institute and ICOC.

"Expresses intent that further audits be commissioned if the auditor's analysis of the implementation of recommendations from the initial audit indicates that further audits are necessary.

"Requires physicians who administer assisted oocyte production, as defined, to women for purposes of donating eggs for medical research to provide a standard written summary of health and consumer issues associated with AOP and to obtain written informed consent.

"Places limits on the sale or transfer of human oocytes or embryos and limits compensation to women to encourage them to produce human oocytes for the purposes of medical research.

"Expresses intent that the ICOC commission further research concerning the risks and benefits of ovarian stimulation drugs used in AOP."

The bill is up for consideration Monday in the Senate Appropriations Committee. A companion measure, SCA13, is before the Senate Elections, Reapportionment and Constitutional Amendments Committee. No hearing is yet scheduled on that measure.

For more on the Ortiz legislation, see http://californiastemcellreport.blogspot.com/2005/05/state-legislative-hearing-may-16-on.html

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