The Infertility Treatment Act

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The Infertility Treatment Act of 1995 was created to regulate infertility treatment in Australia in the State of Victoria. The Act established the Infertility Treatment Authority which administers and implements its provisions.

Principles of the Act

Under this Act, there are four guiding principles for infertility treatments. The welfare of the baby that is born as a result of the fertility treatment is given paramount importance in the Act. A second principle is the the protection and preservation of human life throughout procedures to counter infertility. The third and fourth principles are the family’s interests and the assistance given to infertile couples hoping to have children.

Goals and responsibilities

The Infertility Treatment Authority was established to regulate assisted reproductive technology specifically in Victoria, Australia. The authority was designed to promote community understanding of the ethical and moral issues involved in assisted reproductive technologies and other forms of infertility treatment. The body also aims to ensure that proper counseling and adequate information is circulated and available to those interested parties including healthcare institutions. Additionally, they collect data regarding reproductive assistance and execute broad oversight of the provision. The data is available to the public for research and reporting.

Limits the Act created

The Infertility Treatment Act does define and limit certain procedures including fertilization procedures and donor insemination. It also defines persons qualified to undergo fertility procedures, requirements for consent to procedures, requirements for donors and circumstances under which some procedures may only be done. The Act determined that is it illegal to import or export an embryo or gamete outside the human body from Victoria without the approval of the Infertility Treatment Authority. Interestingly, some parties have contested this rule saying it contradicts interstate trade agreements. The body also licenses treatment centers and approves research. Other regulations include time limits for the storage of sperm, eggs and embryos. They license doctors and infertility centers.

In a field mostly unregulated throughout the world, Australia took the first steps toward regulation and oversight. Although at times controversial, the Infertility Treatment Act has been referred to as a guide globally for the way oversight may be achieved by governments.

Source: NCBI, NIH, Health.Vic.Gov


 
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