Some interesting news out of Ireland: in a groundbreaking move, the Department of Health plans to provide free cycles of IVF and fertility treatment to Irish citizens who can’t conceive without assistance.

Doctors will face up to one year’s imprisonment, however, if they give ‘fertility treatment’ to any woman over the age of 47. This seems to mean any treatment that assists with conception and pregnancy.

It is also proposed that doctors (or anyone? It’s not clear) using donor eggs from a woman over the age of 35 could face a year in prison.

In addition, anyone engaging in any form of commercial surrogacy could face jail time of up to five years.

As is usual in Ireland, it’s difficult to find any news on this – I got this information from a print newspaper, The Sunday Times. I’m not sure yet whether these restrictions will apply only to the free, government-subsidized fertility treatment, or to absolutely all fertility treatment in Ireland.

Is the age cut-off draconian? Personally speaking, I wouldn’t want to be doing IVF after about the age of 42. I felt old and embarrassed doing it at 38, but I appreciate that’s just me.

I certainly raised both eyebrows when I read about this bill.

Can you imagine a doctor going to prison for one year for giving fertility treatment to a woman of 48?

Seems a bit mental.


Doctors face prison.pdf