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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dear Nat.
Help! I need treatment with ED (I'm 47) & my husband is currently infertile due to chemotherapy (he was diagnosed with lymphoma 12 days later I had to abandon my last IVF cycle with my own eggs. We have gametes frozen at Bart's). My consultant at Hammersmith recommended IVI Madrid for ED, & I was previously told (within the last 2-3 months) by the embryologist at Bart's & by my consultant that exporting gametes to Spain should not be a problem. We came back from Madrid on Monday having left a deposit of 5,000 Euros for our treatment. Now Bart's are telling me that HFEA say IVI are not EUTD compliant! They are the biggest clinic group in Spain!
All help & advice gratefully received. I don't think I'm going to get any sleep tonight. Just a thought, but doesn't the current position that HFEA are taking contravene the rights of the individual under the Human Tissue Act (my husband is a histopathoiogist so he know a bit about about this one)?
By the way I have read the recent posts on moving gametes from the UK, but can you give me any crumbs of comfort. I don't think I have time to get into legal action!
Best wishes,

Claire
 

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Hi Claire

This is such a difficult one, and you're by no means the only patient caught in the middle of this. Unfortunately, the HFEA are saying that following the implementation of the EU Tissue Directive in UK law they have no legal power to authorise the export of gametes to an EEA clinic which is not EUTD compliant and there's nothing they can do about it. There's some new stuff on the HFEA website about this at http://www.hfea.gov.uk/en/1440.html#5

The national body that Spanish clinics need to be accredited by to comply with the EUTD is the ONT (their website is at http://www.ont.es/Home?id_nodo=124). If I were you, I'd speak to the ONT, IVI Madrid and the HFEA to find out where in the pipeline of accreditation IVI Madrid are. You will then have a better idea of how big a problem this is going to be for you i.e. will it be resolved by next cycle or are you looking at a year's delay?

Legally, I think there's an argument that the current inability to move gametes around the EEA is a breach of Community law and probably also a breach of human rights law. EU law is somewhat outside my area of expertise but I have colleagues who could help with this. Of course, things should sort themselves out by the foreign clinics responding to commercial pressures to get themselves accredited but if not, it would be well worth running a test case or some kind of joint action since so many people are affected by this. Perhaps we could get together some other people affected like you here. I agree, though, that this is unlikely to give you a speedy solution.

From a practical perspective, is it worth you considering using a clinic outside the EEA for donor eggs? I know you've paid your deposit at IVI, but you should be able to export your sperm outside the EEA without these issues. It might be the quickest solution.

Hope you managed to get some sleep after posting!

Natalie
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
HI Nat.
Many thanks for your prompt reply. Still didn't get much sleep!
Have spoken to IVI Madrid this morning & am waiting for one of the doctors who deals with legal issues & labs to 'phone me. I have looked at ONT web site but can't seem to send them email at the moment. It says that bit of the site is under construction!!!?*!!!
As I said IVI is the largest clinic group in Spain & I am sure they must be doing something about the current conflicts in various different bits of international legislation. I certainly hope so! I am sure the current situation with HFEA & the UK must be in breach of some aspect of human rights law, & probably the human tissue act too!
I will keep you up to date with developments.
Best wishes,

Claire
 
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