Fertility watchdog, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority(HFEA) has unveiled a new checklist to help the patient make an informed choice about the controversial treatment add-ons being offered by UK fertility clinics
The move has come amid widespread criticism of clinics that offer the range of treatments to patients at an added cost despite there being little or no evidence or studies to show how effective they are.
The checklist has put produced in conjunction with leading fertility charity, the Fertility Network UK, and includes a range of questions that patients are advised to ask should they be offered any of these treatments.
Questions include: why are you recommending this add-on to me specifically? Will you or anyone employed at this clinic benefit financially from me having this add-on? Do you believe the add-on to be safe?
More detailed questions include: Is there good quality evidence to back this up? What if I don’t have this add-on? Are there any associated risks or side effects to this add-on?
Within the notes, the HFEA comment: “If you are paying for any part of your treatment that means you are also a consumer which means you have certain rights.
“You may feel awkward about it, but it is okay to question your clinic about the cost of your treatment if, for example, you are not clear about some of the treatments and charges.”
The HFEA has welcomed a new chairperson in its 30th anniversary year
Julia Chain has taken over from Sally Cheshire and has penned an open letter to fertility patients.
She said she has been impressed with how the HFEA puts patients at its forefront.
“I am very excited and privileged to take up this role in the organisation’s 30th anniversary year.
To view the new patient checklist, click here.