Legally Speaking Understanding How IVF Services Are Regulated

In Australia, assisted reproductive technologies such as IVF are heavily regulated by federal and state government legislation as well as professional bodies. Overall, such regulation is beneficial for couples seeking IVF treatment because you can be sure that clinics have high standards of care.

All IVF programs have to abide by the following rules and regulations:

l Research Involving Human Embryos Act 2002 (Cwlth) and Prohibition of Human Cloning for Reproduction Act 2002 (Cwlth), both of which regulate research involving embryos.

I The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Ethical Guidelines on the Use of Assisted Reproductive Technology in Clinical Practice and Research 2004, which cover the ethical side of providing IVF services.

I The Fertility Society of Australia's Reproductive Technology Accreditation Committee (RTAC) Code of Practice for Assisted Reproductive Technology Units, which describes in detail how clinics should be run. The RTAC audits IVF clinics every year to make sure that clinics offer the highest possible standards of care. Only clinics that meet the terms of the code are certified.

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