Consultation on the use of cryopreserved testicular tissue

News article

16 June 2021

The Advisory Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technology (ACART) is consulting interested parties and the public on its Proposal that the HART Order should explicitly state that the use of cryopreserved testicular tissue is an established procedure.

The consultation will run until 30 July 2021.

ACART’s position on the cryopreservation and use of testicular tissue is that:

  • the use of cryopreserved testicular tissue (CTT) should sit within the existing established procedure (EP) of sperm preservation
  • the use of sperm from thawed testicular tissue should fall within IVF and ICSI or other EPs, unless the sperm is used in an assisted reproductive procedure (one that must be considered by the Ethics Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technology)
  • the HART Order needs to be amended to specifically state that the common practice of retrieval and use of CTT is an EP.

By amending the HART Order, clinics will be able to use the tissue, as they are now, with the certainty that they do not need to seek ECART approval.

ACART notes that, if this change to state that the use of CTT is an EP is accepted, the proposal would need to be agreed by the Minister of Health then agreed by Cabinet following parallel advice by the Ministry of Health. 

ACART is seeking public feedback on this proposal to amend the HART Order.

To access the full consultation documentation and provide feedback, please go to the ACART website.

The deadline for feedback is 30 July 2021.

About ACART

ACART formulates policy and provides advice to the Minister of Health on assisted reproductive technology in New Zealand. It was established under section 32 of the Human Assisted Reproductive Technology Act 2004. The Committee is made up of 10 members with Māori, legal, human reproductive research, ethics, disability, consumer, children, and layperson perspectives.

ACART has two key functions:

  1. to provide independent advice to the Minister of Health
  2. to issue guidelines and provide advice to the Ethics Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technology (ECART) on procedures and research requiring case by case ethical approval.

ACART also monitors the (1) application and health outcomes of assisted reproductive procedures and established procedures and (2) developments in human reproductive research.

For more information visit the ACART website.