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Assisted human reproduction legislation: Acknowledging the voice of health care professionals

  • L. Schaler
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: Merrion Fertility Clinic, 60 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2, Ireland.
    Affiliations
    Merrion Fertility Clinic, 60 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2, Ireland

    Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, Dublin 2, Ireland

    School of Medicine, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland
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  • A. Giblin
    Affiliations
    Merrion Fertility Clinic, 60 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2, Ireland

    School of Medicine, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland
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  • L.E. Glover
    Affiliations
    Merrion Fertility Clinic, 60 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2, Ireland

    School of Medicine, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland
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  • M. Wingfield
    Affiliations
    Merrion Fertility Clinic, 60 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2, Ireland

    Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, Dublin 2, Ireland

    School of Medicine, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland
    Search for articles by this author
Published:November 08, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejogrb.2022.11.007

      Abstract

      Objective

      Ireland is one of 5 European countries which currently lacks specific legislation on Assisted Human Reproduction (AHR). Draft legislation was introduced in 2017 and revised in 2022 with a view to enacting legislation this year (2022). This study sought to ascertain the views of healthcare professionals to proposed AHR legislation, prior to the implementation of that legislation.

      Study design

      A survey questionnaire based on all clinically relevant aspects of the Irish draft AHR Bill 2017 was distributed to relevant healthcare professionals using an online platform.

      Results

      Over 200 healthcare personnel indicated strong support for the availability of AHR techniques, access to treatment for all patient populations regardless of relationship or gender status, and appropriate legislation and regulation in the field. Views of respondents are at variance with several proposals surrounding surrogacy, with 84 % favouring a pre-birth order to assign parentage from birth, rather than the proposed birth order 6 weeks after birth. The majority also support legislation around international surrogacy. Contrary to the draft Bill, respondents believe that men, as well as women, should be able to use posthumously any stored gametes or embryos belonging to the deceased partner or the couple. While the majority favour altruistic gamete donation, respondents support more generous compensation for donors, such as compensation for time lost at work.

      Conclusion

      This study has uniquely ascertained the views of healthcare professionals to imminent AHR legislation. It is hoped that the results will help inform the national legislation as it nears completion. Similar studies could help other countries, and policy bodies such as ESHRE to frame good legislation in this extremely specialised and complex field.

      Keywords

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