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Thursday, 13 January 2005 10:34
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
Criminal record checks for IVF couples
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) are launching a wide public consultation into how clinics should protect the interests of children born through fertility treatment.

Under new consultation Infertile couples could face routine criminal records checks before they are given treatment.

The consultation ‘Tomorrow’s Children’ will focus on three main areas:
• The kind of enquiries to be made of prospective parents – whether medical or social and which other professionals should be involved.
• The factors to be taken into account in the assessment – whether these should include medical risks, physical risks, psychological risks and social factors.
• Whether patients undergoing different kinds of treatment need different assessment and information – such as people using donor conception.

Suzi Leather, Chair of the HFEA, said:

“The law sets out the important principle that, before any treatment is given, clinics must consider the welfare of any child who may be born as a result. Our job as the sector’s regulator is to ensure that this is delivered in practice.

“There must be a reasonable, proportionate, fair and practical system that delivers an appropriate level of protection for children without unjustifiably hindering the treatment of people who need medical help in having a child.

“We have to strike a difficult balance between the interests of prospective parents and the needs of children”.


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