The country was dragging its feet on the regularisation of IVF and it was highly unlikely that a law would be moved during this legislature, the PL's health spokesman Michael Farrugia said this afternoon.

Speaking during a debate on IVF, held by the student organisation Move at the university campus, Dr Farrugia referred to a report which had been presented to the Social Affairs Committee in 2005 by the late philosopher Peter Serracino Inglott, in which he proposed the setting up of a regulatory board which would keep up to date with science processes and update any regulations that may be drawn up accordingly. This board would also see that standards were retained.

Dr Farrugia noted that the debates in committee on IVF last year had already been superceded by technological and scientific developments.

At present the country was faced with a situation where it was socially unacceptable that parents who wanted children and were willing to pay to have them, could not.

He noted that the IVF equipment at Mater Dei was still not being used.

Pierre Schembri Wismayer from the Professions Against Embryo Freezing, noted that every biologist believed that life started from fertilisation so it should be protected from the very beginning, in spite of economical and physical issues.

The association agreed with the social affairs committee on the concept of egg fertilisation as this was a safe concept both for the embryo and the woman.

It also agreed on the need to regularise the process.

Charlene Valentino Giordmaina from the University Students' Catholic Movement said that when Bishop Mario Grech had referred to IVF he had said that NaPro technology should be used as an alternative to IVF because the latter separated the unification from the procreative process.

She said that those born incapable of bearing children should not take the situation into their own hands and act as if they were buying children.

Asked what was the alternative, she replied adoption, to which she was told by Dr Farrugia that one still needed a lot of money to adopt.

Dr Jean Calleja Agius said people going for IVF would have already been through NaPro technology since IVF was a last resort.

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