Assisted reproduction and the law

 

Sir, – Working in the field of IVF and assisted reproduction, this week, for the first time ever, I had the support of Irish law in making a difficult treatment decision.

The Children and Family Relationships Act of 2015, which governs donor-assisted reproduction was commenced on May 5th, a mere five years after it was signed into law.

While I and others in my field, have grave reservations regarding aspects of the Act and its proposed implementation, this is a very welcome milestone in terms of Ireland eventually beginning to legislate for the medically, socially and ethically complex field of assisted reproduction. In the case I mention, not only did the new law help me decide on the correct course of action, but, more importantly, it meant the couple in question did not need to undergo the stress and expense of seeking complex legal advice.

Ireland is one of a minority of countries worldwide which has no specific legislation or regulatory authority for assisted reproduction. A Bill is currently in draft format. This must be expedited by our new government. – Yours, etc,

Prof MARY

WINGFIELD, MD, FRCOG,

Clinical Director,

Merrion Fertility Clinic,

Consultant Obstetrician

and Gynaecologist,

National Maternity Hospital,

Dublin 2.