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Monday, 2 December 2002
Page: 6871


Senator PATTERSON (Minister for Health and Ageing) (5:26 PM) —I refer honourable senators to the last page of the communique, which refers to a nationally consistent approach to ART. I am not going to read through it but people can go through those three paragraphs. This is what COAG said:

The Reproductive Technology Accreditation Committee is a committee of the Fertility Society of Australia. RTAC has overseen ART clinical practice for many years and COAG agreed that this was appropriate. However, the exemption for diagnostic investigations does not give carte blanche, rather there are four strict criteria which must be met. First, the embryo must be excess; secondly, it must be undertaken within an RTAC accredited ART clinic; thirdly, it must be for diagnostic testing; and fourthly, it must be must be for treatment of a woman for whom the embryo was created.

This is an entirely appropriate exemption in relation to routine ART clinical practice, which, as COAG agreed, should be overseen by RTAC and supported by legislation if the states consider this necessary.