Medical doctors involved in helping couples for a family by having children through IVF say that the local IVF bill is so restrictive that it will mean a drop in pregnancy rates from an overall 40% to around 5% to 10%.
They said that Dr Eleonora Porcu brought over from Italy by Ministers Chris Said and Joseph Cassar sponsoring the bill failed to say on Thursday evening that the IVF law in Italy which was better than the local bill failed despite oocyte vitrification being widely practiced.
Parents who have formed a family through having children using IVF told maltastar.com in her speech in Malta two days ago Porcu was silent about what she thinks of the proposal in the local bill to have an authority that will come between doctors and patients and vet parents to decide whether they should be allowed to have children. She also said nothing that doctors like her in Italy were not restricted to fertilise no more than two eggs.
Local IVF practitioners told maltastar.com that Porcu also said nothing about the very punitive criminal charges contained in the local bill, stiffer than similar charges in IVF laws overseas. “Her success rates are very optimistic and vary wildly from those commonly experienced in the IVF process.”
Thursday - During the seminar organised by the Ministry for Justice, Dialogue and the Family together with the Ministry for Health, the Elderly and Community Care, Italian IVF expert Dr. Eleonora Porcu said that increasing the limit of two female ova that can be fertilised to three, would increase the chances of pregnancy.
Both ministries have published a very restrictive and conservative bill to introduce IVF in Malta. The bill was published the day after local bishops issued a pastoral letter against IVF.
Porcu has been Medical Doctor and Assistant Professor in Reproductive Medicine at the University of Bologna since 1977. Based on the outcome of the public discussion regarding the Embryo Protection Bill, the government might allow for more than two eggs to be fertilised in cases of women over 35 years of age.
Minister for Justice, Dialogue and the Family Chris Said said this morning that the Government is willing to fine-tune the IVF Bill, however he stressed that ban on donations was being imposed in the interests of the children, who had the right to know who their biological parents were.
The limit of only two eggs being fertilised was labelled “restrictive” by Italian expert Dr Eleonora Porcu, who said, however, that this policy was also applied by her clinic for women under 35 years of age as this guarantees that the clinic does not run the risk of having to destroy embryos.
Minister for Health, the Elderly and Community Care Joseph Cassar said it is the aim of the government to offer a ray of hope to these couples.
The Embryo Protection Bill remains open for public discussion until September 15.
Many countries have strict rules on who is allowed to get fertility treatments.
France and Italy forbid single women and lesbian couples from using artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization, or IVF, to conceive. Austria and Italy are among those banning all egg and sperm donations for IVF. Germany and Norway ban donating eggs, but not sperm.
Countries including Sweden require couples to have a stable relationship for at least a year to qualify for fertility treatment. Switzerland, among others, requires couples to be married.
And nearly everywhere in Europe except Ukraine, couples are banned from hiring a woman to carry a pregnancy for them.