New guidelines for assisted reproductive treatment in Australia

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has released new guidelines for assisted reproductive treatment (ART) in Australia.

The Ethical guidelines on the use of assisted reproductive technology in clinical practice and research, 2017  provides updated national ethical guidance for ART use in a clinical setting, addressing a number of complex ethical issues including:

  • how best to manage patient expectations of ART services
  • the level of information needed by individual patients, their access to appropriate counselling services, and their requirements in order to be able to provide informed consent
  • sex selection for non-medical purposes
  • surrogacy
  • sperm, egg, and embryo donation
  • preimplantation genetic screening.

The revised guidelines have been developed around a set of ethical principles, with practical advice and examples on how to apply and use these principles.

Its revision was overseen by the Australian Health Ethics Committee (AHEC) with contributions from an expert working committee and two rounds of public consultation.

Summary of the major revisions to the guidelines

Ethical guidelines on the use of assisted reproductive technology in clinical practice and research, 2017