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Doctors group responds to IVF mix-up

September 25, 2009 |  3:23 pm


The field of reproductive medicine has come under criticism for many years for the lack of government regulations surrounding assisted reproductive technologies, such as in vitro fertilization. The leading professional organization, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, issued a statement today suggesting more regulation appears to be needed following a highly publicized mix-up at an infertility clinic.

An Ohio couple went public with the news this week that they were implanted with another couple's embryos and will give birth soon to the couple's baby after saying, "Hello and goodbye."
The ASRM has voluntary guidelines for its members and, a few years ago, enacted a policy to discipline members who don't play by the rules. However, the group has long argued for autonomy to police itself.

However, in a statement released today, ASRM executive director Robert W. Rebar said:

"Even with these efforts, the incidents reported this week make it clear that there is still work to do. As the leaders in reproductive medicine, we will redouble our efforts to develop systems that will assure our patients and the public that these kinds of mistakes will not happen. 
"The time has come for policy makers to sit down with the leading experts in the field to explore ways we can codify our standards to give them additional regulatory teeth.
"We will lead an effort involving our members, representatives of patient groups, policy makers and other stakeholders to work together to come up with solutions."

-- Shari Roan

Photo credit: Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times