160615 Complex policy landscape of assisted reproductive technology (ART) in the European Union

Tuesday, November 6, 2007: 8:50 AM

Corinna Sorenson, MPH, MHSA , LSE Health and Social Care, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, United Kingdom
Philipa Mladovsky, MSc , LSE Health and Social Care, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, United Kingdom
The last 25 years has witnessed a growing interest in and demand for assisted-reproductive technologies (ART) to treat infertility. To date, ART treatments have enabled the birth of over one million babies worldwide. Despite the benefits of such interventions, these procedures and their potential long-term implications are often associated with high costs and safety concerns for both woman and child. Moreover, assisted reproduction itself is often embedded with social, ethical, and cultural values related to fertility, sexuality, and biological autonomy. This paper will discuss the complex policy landscape of ART in Europe, based on a cross-country analysis. In particular, a comparative approach was taken to critically examine a range of issues related to assisted reproduction across the EU, including 1) national regulation, 2) funding and access to services, 3) health impact and safety, 4) economic considerations, and 5) socio-political perspectives on fertility. The findings demonstrate that a wide range of regulatory and policy frameworks are applied across countries, with minimal consensus on the EU-level toward addressing the use of ART. This paper will highlight the similarities and differences across countries and draw comparisons to North America and other regions, where relevant. Recent developments in the ART debate will also be discussed, such as reproductive tourism and the use of ART in population policies. As the use of ART expands, greater attention by policy-makers to the challenges posed by such technologies is necessitated. Accordingly, this paper will describe potential policy directions that could guide the appropriate use and regulation of ART.

Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of the session, the participant will be able to: Articulate the state of ART treatment in the EU. Discuss three key public health and policy issues surrounding the use of assisted reproduction. Identify four potential policy directions to guide the appropriate use and regulation of ART.

Keywords: Reproductive Health, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.