For over 11 years, following the Assisted Human Reproduction Act was a bit like pinning the tail on the donkey. You understood what needed to be done, but had to do it while your eyes were covered. We needed regulations to help differentiate between acts that were criminal and acts that were permitted, but those regulations were not forthcoming. I complained loudly and often and was quoted as saying that we would never see regulations in my lifetime.
The AHRA was clear enough in what it said, but there were some very large, gaping holes that made its application almost impossible. For example, we know that the purchase of eggs is a criminal act, and we know that Section 12, which has never been proclaimed, provides that expenditures incurred in the course of donating sperm or ova can be reimbursed to the donor. What kinds of expenses? For what period of time? Are there exclusions? Are there any expenses that must be reimbursed? Clients looked to me for answers, and I could only give them my opinion when a definitive answer was required.
My complaints and the complaints of others were finally heard. The Canadian Standards Association was tasked with the job of creating standard guidelines for reimbursing donors and surrogates, and I was lucky enough to sit on the Task Force assigned to the job. No two people had the same opinion about allowable expenses, and the conversations were spirited. A draft guideline was released at the end of June. The guideline will, in its final form, be a schedule attached to another document dealing with the handling of tissues in the scope of assisted reproduction, and the document at hand is, therefore, referred to as an “annex”. The Annex is available for public review until September 15, 2015.
The guideline will provide some guidance to the industry, but it needs your input. Please click on the links below, review the draft guideline, and add your comments. The hope is that these guidelines will help establish definitive procedures and may even lead to the enactment of Section 12. Clear answers may be in sight.
To review and comment on the Annex, please use the links below.
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