Victorian families with an experience of IVF are being urged to participate in a wide-ranging review of the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act.
The review is timely, with almost four per cent of all births in Victoria resulting from a variety of assisted reproductive treatments, including IVF.
Led by experienced lawyer Michael Gorton, AM, the review aims to ensure the current legislation continues to provide adequate safeguards for people using these services.
A consultation paper and online survey allowing all Victorians to have their say has been released today.
Mr Gorton said a number of issues had emerged since the Act was last amended in 2008 that require further investigation and a timely response.
"Since then assisted reproductive technology, community attitudes and the nature of supply and demand in the market have evolved significantly," Mr Gorton said.
Some of the issues to be considered by the review relate to whether:
- there are adequate safeguards to protect consumers using or intending to use assisted reproductive treatment services
- the regulatory framework creates unnecessary barriers to access for LGBTI people
- the regulatory framework remains appropriate in the evolving market for assisted reproductive treatment
- the evolving market and regulatory framework has implications for access and affordability.
"Demand has increased along with changing community attitudes, such as people choosing to have children later in life or freezing their eggs," Mr Gorton said.
The review will provide an interim report to the Minister in October.
The last comprehensive review of the laws governing access to assisted reproductive treatment services was published in 2007 by the Victorian Law Reform Commission.
The online survey which addresses the themes of the review is at https://engage.vic.gov.au/ The survey also includes an option to anonymously tell personal stories about experiences with assisted reproductive treatment.
Formal submissions addressing any or all of the questions posed in the consultation paper can be lodged via the Engage Victoria website or by email to ART.Review@dhhs.vic.gov.au.
Mr Gorton is a former Chair of the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority and Patient Review Panel under the current assisted reproductive treatment legislation. He a former Chair of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission and Chair of the Victorian Biotechnology Ethics Advisory Committee. He is currently Chair of Alfred Health, Chair of the Australian health Practitioner Regulation Agency and a Board member of Ambulance Victoria and the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine.