EU ethical disparities force couples into IVF treatment abroad


Legal differences between EU member states are driving many couples overseas to seek infertility treatment, a senior IVF expert has claimed.

Regulations need to be brought in to make the laws governing infertility treatment more consistent, according to Paul Devroey, a professor at Brussels Free University.

The professor also noted that thousands of British couples have opted for medical tourism in Spain, Cyprus and eastern Europe to avoid long waiting lists in the UK.

"The human right to reproduction and access to assisted reproductive technology for infertile couples should be preserved in similar legislation throughout Europe as part of a unified strategy to address human infertility," Professor Devroey said in an interview with the Times.

"The reality, however, is that legislation varies greatly between countries in Europe," he continued.

The professor said that it was "astonishing" that well-proven treatments were still not allowed in some countries, adding that the lack of cohesion has helped to build medical tourism ( into a billion-euro market.

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