ACART submission Sept 2015 – Informed consent

In July 2015 ACART, the Advisory Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technologies, called for submissions on a discussion paper it had prepared prior to giving advice to the Minister of Health about informed consent requirements for ART procedure. Here is the link to their discussion document and the submissions they subsequently received. The analysis by ACART was surprisingly weak and their direction not well thought through.

This document ACART submission Sept 2015 – Informed consent is my submission which drew on my 6 years of experience on ACART and my close monitoring of many debates about patient rights and protections in our health system.

Subsequently I had further briefings with members of ACART and their secretariat to elaborate on the importance of a principles-based approach to consent, rather than one that appears to be driven partly by commercial interests or simply accepts some current practice without scrutiny.

10 months later there seems to be no outcomes emerging from this consultation. It is very disappointing to note that this issue, and a number of other tasks required by the HART Act, are well past the timeframe specified in the Act. This indicates a very disinterested attitude on the part of the previous Health Minister, Tony Ryall, who cared little for these important ethical issues.