Bioethics Blogs

Kudos to Quebec IVF Docs for Reducing the # of Multiple Pregnancies

Françoise Baylis reviews some of the proposed changes to public funding of IVF in Quebec and explains why these changes will not increase the multiple pregnancy rate.

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In August 2010, the province of Quebec began public funding of IVF. Insured services included the transfer of one or two embryos in women 36 years of age or under, and the transfer of up to 3 embryos (including no more than two blastocyst stage embryos) in women 37 years of age or over. Predictably, these regulations resulted in a dramatic reduction in the number of multiple pregnancies in the province (from 27.2% in 2009 to 5.2% in 2013).

Four years later, the Quebec government is now looking to radically revamp its IVF program (see here and here). On November 28, 2014, the government tabled Bill 20, An Act to enact the Act to promote access to family medicine and specialized medicine services and to amend various legislative provisions relating to assisted procreation. Bill 20 replaces public funding of IVF under the provincial health insurance plan with a sliding scale of tax credits. At one end of the spectrum, families earning less than $50,000 a year will be eligible for an 80% tax credit. At the other end of the spectrum, families earning more than $120,000 a year will be eligible for a 20% tax credit. Bill 20 also limits the number of embryos that may be transferred into a woman per cycle. Single embryo transfer will be mandated for women under 37, while women between the ages of 37-42 will be eligible for double embryo transfer.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.