Latest POSTnotes from Parl’y Office of Science and Technology


The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology has recently published the following POSTnotes.

1.  Organ Donation and Transplants ( PDF, 4 pages, 263.8 KB)

Transplants are the most effective treatment for organ failure. There is a need to increase the number of organs donated. The Human Transplantation (Wales) Bill passed by the National Assembly for Wales revises the current opt-in consent procedure for donations to deemed consent.

A new UK strategy sets out policy intended to improve organ transplant rates. This POST note examines this and other policies to increase the availability of donor organs in the UK.

2.  Autonomous Road Vehicles ( PDF, 4 pages, 412.8 KB)

Vehicles capable of driving without human intervention are rapidly moving up the policy agenda. Legislation in Nevada, California and Florida now means that they are being tested on public roads for the first time. This POST note reviews recent technological and policy developments in this area. It looks at how road safety, the environment and congestion could be affected, and examines barriers to adoption.

3.  Cosmetic Procedures ( PDF, 4 pages, 283.4 KB)

Cosmetic treatments are becoming increasingly popular in the UK. A review commissioned by the Department of Heath(DH) in response to the Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) breast implant scandal identified a range of concerns about the sector.

This POSTnote summarizes the procedures on offer, the factors driving the increase in demand and the health, ethical and regulatory issues that arise.

4.  Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis ( PDF, 4 pages, 270 KB)

Pre –implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), used in combination with IVF, allows families with a history of a serious genetic disorder to have a child unaffected by the condition. This POST note covers the applications of PGD in the UK and how the technology is regulated.

The main POST website is:

If you would like further information on these briefings please contact or 020 7219 8377.