The legislation surrounding gamete freezing is complicated and difficult to comprehend, even for people with law degrees. The Progress Educational Trust's latest event 'Frozen Fertility: The Challenges of Storing Eggs, Sperm and Embryos', held at the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, set out to explore the current state of play.
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Sally Cheshire, Chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), said that what fertility patients want most of all is a baby, or at least the chance to have a baby. She explained that many patients will do anything to achieve their aim, and that the regulator's job is to help them achieve this in the best way possible, as part of good care.
The subject of this year's Progress Educational Trust annual conference, entitled 'Reality Check', was 'a realistic look at assisted reproduction'. The choice of focus was motivated by ongoing controversy surrounding so-called 'IVF add-ons'. These are defined by the HFEA as 'optional extras that you may be offered on top of your normal fertility treatment, often at an additional cost'.
The latest meeting organised by the Progress Educational Trust (PET) asked the question 'Does fertility treatment still need to be a medical secret?' The event in Edinburgh last week, held in partnership with the Scottish Government, took place off the Royal Mile - through a narrow alleyway in Riddle's Court, one of the many old and imposing buildings scattered throughout the city.
Happily fraud, dishonesty and forgery are seldom features of IVF treatment.
But on rare occasions (and for widely differing reasons), some patients are not wholly transparent or honest in their engagement with clinics.