Researchers call for new rules for couples with infertility

Thousands of couples in Germany have difficulties to conceive natural children. One part solves the Problem already in fertility center.

About three percent of the children born every year, each artificial insemination to the world. In the case of a part of the couples would like to have a Baby, but are these Attempts in vain – then all that remains is one last step.

According to expert estimates, several Thousand German couples wishing to have children visit each year to clinics abroad. There methods are possible, which prohibits the embryo protection act in Germany since 1990: couples can use donated eggs or a surrogate mother are involved. Also for gay couples options to get children to open up abroad.

In comparison to other countries, the Situation in Germany was particularly repressive, says Ulrich Hilland, chief Executive of the Federal Association of reproductive medical centers. Claudia Wiesemann, Deputy Chairman of the German ethics Council, aligned keeps the current legal regime is inadequate and too restrictive on the protection of fertilised ova outside the woman’s body.

Against this Background, a working group of the National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina) and the Academy’s Union has presented recommendations for a new regulation. The scientists are based on the development of diagnostic and therapeutic measures since the introduction of the embryo protection law more than 25 years ago.

A selection of the recommendations:

Cost of acquisition: according to the experts, should health insurance companies the cost of fertility treatments in the future to completely when they are medically required and it is the prospects of success are. So an existing social inequalities in access could counteract, – stated in the opinion.

So far, insurance companies cover the costs only under certain circumstances, such as when the Couple is married, and then only partially. The unfulfilled desire to have children will be considered on the question of reimbursement of costs such as a private lifestyle matter – and not “as an expression of disease, or perhaps even physical disability,” he pointed to a man of the Unimedizin Göttingen, who has worked on the recommendations.

Number of twins lower: Previously, women in Germany frequently two or three embryos in the uterus used to be multiple births more likely. “We currently have approximately 20 percent twins, in vitro fertilization,” said Hilland, who was not involved in the recommendations. This is associated with health risks for both mother and child.

In other countries, Doctors need to select from several embryos, only those with the greatest opportunities for development and transfer only one Embryo. The authors argue in favour of this procedure – elective Single-Embryo Transfer to allow in Germany.

Egg donation allow: “It is a pressing issue that the sperm donation in Germany is allowed, the donor egg but not. This creates inequities in the treatment of women,” said Wiesemann. While couples in which the man is about after cancer treatment, infertile, could start with donor sperm to have a family, stay couples where the women is affected, this Option is denied.

The health risks to donors are now low, so the man pointed. For donations to be paid to the recommendations, according to the only adequate compensation, in order to prevent “excessive commercialisation”.

In the case of embryo donation clarity: doctors create more embryos than they are for the treatment need. The number of these so-called supernumerary embryos will continue to be kept as low as possible. Today, it is legally permissible to make a donation. So far the process is running a private club. The authors of the opinion, demand, to regulate the placement on the basis of transparent and appropriate criteria in the law.

In addition, it should be legalized in accordance with the will of the authors, in addition, a donation of pronucleus stages. This is the ova, in which a sperm cell is invaded or was introduced, in which the genetic material of the mother and the father, but is not yet merged. In contrast to surplus embryos, such a donation is prohibited currently. This unequal treatment is neither from an ethical point of view, from the perspective of many affected couples convincing, it is said in the opinion.

Surrogacy: The subject of surrogacy is highly controversial, it is said in the opinion. Regardless of the discussion of an authorisation, however, should be clarified with children is dealt with, who were born in foreign legal way of a surrogate mother and grow up in Germany.

“In the child’s best interests should be made possible for these children to have a legally secure assignment of the child to the intended parents, because of their numerous legal consequences such as parental responsibility, maintenance claims, and citizenship depend,” reads the opinion.

Conclusion: Urgent time for a new law

“The complexity of the subject matter is no reason for a statutory amendment to further delay,” the scientists write. Hopefully, at least a discussion about reproductive medicine in the parties to initiate said Wiesemann. Whether the lead at the end of the majorities for a new law, be open. “But this discussion is still out of the way, I think it’s very problematic.”

The Federal Ministry of health responded to the request with a generally held opinion. “The Federal government is a major concern that all childless couples are equally supported in the use of fertility treatments,” said a spokesman. So the Federal government is seeking, for example, that concerned the couples standing in the framework of the Federal program granted financial support “nationwide and uniformly” available.

No answers were found to questions, such as the Ministry reviewed the currently available measures for desire for children, couples, and whether these are considered adequate and timely.