IVF only for couples who suffer from sterility, impotence – Cana
In-vitro fertilisation should only be available to married couples who suffer from “sterility and impotence”, according to the Cana Movement.
The law should be restricted and the movement criticised the proposed parameters that widen availability to “all heterosexual couples in all circumstances”.
The position paper, titled Critical Analysis of the Embryo Protection Bill, was drawn up by lawyer Robert Tufigno, a Cana council member. In a highly contentious statement last month, the Cana Movement said IVF opened the door to abortion.
“The Bill is giving the idea that the wanted child is a commodity that may be procured, albeit at a high cost... from a clinic,” Dr Tufigno said, adding this approach implied the embryo was a product of technology that could be disposed of at any time.
In a scathing review of the Bill regulating IVF, the Church organisation yesterday said the proposed regulatory authority was powerless.
The 19-page document was published two days before Parliament reconvenes from its summer recess tomorrow. The IVF Bill, released for consultation last month, is expected to be one of the first pieces of legislation to be debated.
Dr Tufigno said the current state of lawlessness in the field of medically assisted procreation was going to be replaced by “inadequate means to ensure the enforcement of the law”.
He said the regulatory authority proposed in the Bill was not vested with the power to suspend or revoke any licence if the law was breached and its functions were generic.
“The general impression is that the authority is mainly an agency of moral value but with no real power to regulate medically assisted procreation and protect the embryo,” Dr Tufigno said.
He noted that much was left to supplementary regulation and augured that any consultation on such rules be undertaken during “normal times of the year when people are not in vacation”.
He also called for a proper definition of the embryo as a distinct entity vested with rights. Experts in the field have drawn a distinction between fertilised eggs and embryos (not all fertilised eggs go on to develop into viable embryos), something Dr Tufigno did not.
The Bill defined the embryo as a process of fertilisation, he added. “The Bill is very careful in not recognising or granting to the fertilised female egg any status of a subject or person.”
The Bill limits the number of fertilised eggs to two but Dr Tufigno insisted the limit could be exceeded by a practitioner unintentionally.