Fertility treatments, and in particular IVF, are a thriving industry in Australia but there are concerns those suffering from fertility issues are being taken advantage of.
That’s led to calls for more regulation of the IVF industry, with concerns patients using the treatments are not fully aware of the risks and chances of success.
Louise Johnson from the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Technology Authority told ABC News there are gaps in the industry and more work needs to be done.
But Dr David Molly, Chair of the Heads of IVF Units of Australia says they Australian fertility industry is exactly where it needs to be and is ahead of the curve when it comes to success and regulation.
He told ABC News, “We were the first medical specialty group to self regulate. We have a code of practice. If we don’t stick to that code of practice we’re closed down. On top of that we’ve got another layer of regulation in and nearly all the states in Australia have got regulations, state laws that govern the practice of IVF,” he said.
Ethical issues are also being raised around the “unlimited’ amount of public funding for fertility treatments.
Sonia Allan from Macquarie University says greater oversight of the commercialisation of baby-making is needed.
“I think there are ethical issues surrounding the unlimited amount of public funding that is being put towards some of these treatments. And probably perverse incentives for doctors to continue with these treatments because of the increased money that can be made, particularly when the industry has become so commercialised.”
As the debate rages around issues of availability, ethics, and funding when it comes to fertility treatment, it can be easy to forget the people at the heart of these treatments who just want a baby and what to be able to choose how much time, effort and money they put into it.