The Irish Government has approved a bill presented by Health Minister, Simon Harris, focusing on “a full set of measures […] regarding medically assisted procreation“.
For the first time in Ireland, couples will be able to benefit from government funding for fertility treatments, “regardless of their income”. The Government has yet to decide “how many cycles would be financed” and the conditions governing access to these resources. One cycle of IVF treatment in Ireland costs between €4,500 and €6,000.
The bill would also authorise the post-mortem use of gametes and embryos for the fertility treatment of the surviving partner provided that consent forms had been signed in advance. In addition, the bill would regulate the conditions for gamete and embryo donations, prevent “commercial surrogacy” and monitor embryo and stem cell research. “However, numerous questions must be put to the Government before this bill is legalised. Clarification is needed regarding the amount to be subsidised and financial cover for pre-implantation diagnosis.“
An independent regulatory authority for medically assisted procreation will be set up to supervise clinics, ensure compliance with “the legal ethical framework” and, in particular, to safeguard the “well-being and best interests of children born through medically assisted procreation“.
Financial aid is scheduled to begin in 2019.