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Monday 14 November 2016

Day One | Day Two

8.30 Registration & Coffee

9.00 OPENING | Opening Remarks from the Chair

9.10 Assisted reproductive technology: A GP viewpoint

Most women have little awareness of when to try for pregnancy in a given cycle, or, in their reproductive life. They come to ask for help when their own attempts do not meet their expectations, and the authoritative person they come to first is the GP.

This paper will give you a glimpse of the consultations that follow such presentations, looking at both patient and GP agendas. We will look at how GPs get to know what they know, how they act on that knowledge, and what happens after, because all clients of ART end up back with the GP, either with or without the desired outcome.

Dr Linda Mann, Representative, RACGP

9.50 Regulatory challenges in ART: A view from Western Australia

In a field characterised by rapid technological advances and keen social awareness, the regulation of assisted reproductive technology needs to strike a balance between adaptability on the one hand, and predictability on the other. This paper will explore that tension, illustrated by reference to Western Australian regulatory structures and responses.

Dr Brenda McGivern, Chair, Western Australian Reproductive Technology Council

10.30 Morning Tea

11.00 Open Disclosure of Adverse Events in Fertility Practice

  • The nature and extent of adverse events in fertility practice
  • Why disclose adverse events in fertility practice?
  • Implementing open disclosure: policy and guidelines
  • Consequences of failure to disclose adverse events

Associate Professor Tina Cockburn, Australian Centre for Health Law Research, QUT Faculty of Law, Brisbane 

11.40 What needs to change to make surrogacy more workable in Australia?

Surrogacy is here to stay as a means to family formation, as infertile Australians increasingly baulk at repeated rounds of failed IVF. Yet there are ongoing tensions between patients and IVF physicians reluctant to embrace surrogacy. This presentation illustrates how similar non-compensated markets of Canada and the UK have developed 'work-around' solutions to better compensate surrogates, as well as provide appropriate surrogate support during pregnancy and pregnancy attempts.

Sam Everingham, Director - Events & Content, Families Through Surrogacy

12.20 Lunch

13.20 Baby Gammy: the case for commercial surrogacy?

When baby Gammy was left in Thailand by his parents, widespread condemnation ensued with calls to ban surrogacy or to expand child protection order checks to apply nationally. Judge John Pascoe stated that children were being left "genetically bewildered" and potentially stateless. Others have argued that lifting the ban on commercial surrogacy would remove the need to travel overseas to find a surrogate.

This paper will examine the extent to which calls for change in the current legislative framework can be justified ethically and are evidenced based.

Sandra Dill AM, CEO of Access Australia, Tutor in Ethics and Law in Reproductive Medicine, University of NSW

14.00 Prospective parents as international criminals: How do we better meet patient needs and expectations?

Associate Professor Vinay S Rane, Visiting Fulbright Professor in Women's Health to New York State University, Harvard University, United Nations & The Mayo Clinic, President of the Medico-Legal Society of Victoria, Barrister & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria, Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Melbourne Mothers, The Royal Women's, Western Health and Monash University & Australian President, DaVincian Health Care

14.40 Afternoon tea

15.10 PANEL | Futile and ineffective IVF treatment: The emerging potential for claims in medical negligence

Associate Professor Tina Cockburn, Australian Centre for Health Law Research, QUT Faculty of Law, Brisbane
Janine McIlwraith, Principal, Slater & Gordon Lawyers

15.50 Corporate reshaping of motherhood through subsidized egg-freezing policies

16:30 CLOSING | Closing remarks from the Chair

16:40 Networking drinks

Tuesday 15 November 2016

Day One | Day Two

8.30 Registration and Morning Coffee

9.00 OPENING | Opening Remarks from the Chair

09.10 Standards and Accreditation of ART in Australia

Australia was a world leader in requiring the accreditation and licensing of ART clinics. In 1987 the Reproductive Technology Accreditation Committee was established, auditing against a series of standards which evolved into a Code of Practice requiring an underlying Quality Management System. Initially inspections were performed by multi-disciplinary volunteer technical experts but are now conducted by professional Certifying Bodies licensed by JAS-ANZ.

Keith Harrison, Chairman, RTAC

09.50 Donor conception and the search for information - Approaches to information release around the globe

This presentation will discuss regulatory models and approaches taken around the globe regarding the recording and release of information to donor-conceived people about their donors and donor-siblings. Examination of reasoning underpinning anonymous or nonanonymous gamete and embryo donation, and notification of donor-conceived status, around the world will also be had. The speaker will argue that donor-conceived people have a right to access information if they choose and discuss a variety of models that enable this to occur.

Associate Professor Sonia Allan, Head of the Department of Health Systems and Populations, Macquarie University

10.30 Donor Conception Legislation - the Victorian Experience

New legislation gives all donor-conceived Victorians the right to know their heritage. Amendments to the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008 were passed in February 2016. The key elements of this legislation included:

  • All Victorian donor-conceived people, regardless of when they were born, will have a right to identifying information about their donor, without having to receive consent from their donor. This will mean that donor-conceived people born before 1998 will have the same rights as those born after 1998
  • Contact preferences will be made available to donors and donorconceived people, allowing them to determine the way in which contact with those with whom they are linked will occur. People will also have the option to choose a 'no contact' preference. If a contact preference is breached, a significant penalty may apply. Contact preferences will also be extended to those legal children of donors or donor-conceived people who are under the age of 18 years
  • Responsibility for managing the central and voluntary registers will be moved to VARTA. The amendments will also enable VARTA to be the 'one door in' provider of support and information to donors, donorconceived people and their families, as per recommendations made by the Parliamentary Law Reform Committee

Kate Bourne, Donor Register Services Manager, VARTA & Chair, Australia and New Zealand Infertility Counsellors' Association

11.10 Morning Tea

11.50 Should ART treatment always be supported by public resources?

Professor Ben Mol, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Adelaide

12.30 The importance of maintaining mitochondrial DNA regulation and integrity in assisted reproduction

As the world of assisted reproductive technology seeks to introduce innovative technologies into clinical practice, it is necessary to ensure that genetic and epigenetic integrity is not compromised. One key genetic component that is often ignored is the mitochondrial genome. This often arises as it is located outside of the nucleus inside mitochondria in the cytoplasm of the cell; and because it is primarily associated with energy production. However, recent studies show that maintaining mitochondrial DNA genetic integrity and efficient regulation of mitochondrial DNA copy number are essential to developmental outcome, the health and well-being of the offspring and the offspring's genetic identity. I will discuss two assisted reproductive technologies, mitochondrial supplementation and mitochondrial replacement, which are often jointly known as '3-parent IVF', in the context of developmental outcomes, the health and well-being of the offspring and establishing the offspring's genetic identity.

Professor Justin St. John, Centre Head for the Centre for Genetic Diseases at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research

13.10 Lunch

14.10 From the grave to the cradle: the legal challenges when creating life after death

In 1844 Edgar Allen Poe wrote “The boundaries which divide Life and Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?” Today, the boundaries of life and death continue to be a fertile ground of bioethical debate and perhaps none more so than in the area of posthumous reproduction. Is posthumous parenthood desirable? Is tighter regulation warranted? This presentation will touch on:

  • How does posthumous parenthood arise?
  • The case for posthumous mums different to the case of posthumous dads?
  • What does the case law in Australia and abroad say?
  • What are the limits of the current legislative framework?
  • What are the ethical issues underpinning the debate?

Janine McIlwraith, Principal, Slater & Gordon Lawyers

14.50 Fertility preservation for cancer patients

Associate Professor Kate Stern, Head of the Fertility Preservation Service at Melbourne IVF, The Women's Hospital

15.30 Afternoon tea

16.00 The ethical issues surrounding genetic testing in regards to assisted reproductive technology

Professor Rob Sparrow, Department of Philosophy, Monash University

16.40 PANEL | Senior representatives panel

This session will consist of a panel of senior representatives from fertility clinics and associations. They will discuss key issues such as:

  • How to manage the expectations of patients
  • The latest trends and issues in Australian fertility
  • The future of fertility

17.20 CLOSING | Closing remarks from the Chair

17.50 End of Summit

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