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FOCUS - Osservatorio di Diritto sanitario

 The issue of compliance of funding in vitro procedures in the Program of Infertility Treatment through Extracorporeal Fertilization Method with the Constitution of the Republic of Poland

Financing infertility treatment with  public funds through a health program may give rise to controversies of legal nature, as it raises the question of allowance and compliance with the Constitution of the possibility of infertility treatment by in vitro fertilization in the form of the program of the Minister of Health, where there is an absence of a law regulating the procedure for in vitro and bioethical issues related to it. On 20 March 2013, the Minister of Health signed the program of Infertility Treatment through Extracorporeal Fertilization Method for years 2013-2016, pursuant to the Art. 48 of the Law on healthcare services financed from the public funds, as a health program of the minister appropriate for health issues. It should be noted that the ministerial programs pursuant to the Art. 48 of the aforementioned act are classified as either preventive or curative. The analyzed program belongs to the latter. In accordance with the definition included in the Art. 5 Section 30 of the Act on healthcare services financed from the public fund, a health program is a unit of planned and intended actions concerning healthcare assessed as effective, safe and justified, enabling achievement of certain objectives in a  given period of time, involving detecting  and meeting  specific health needs and improving health of a specific group of beneficiaries, financed from the public funds.The program, in its assumptions, is to be a long-term program, developed for three years. The program was launched on July 1, 2013 and will run until June 30, 2016. The scope of the program will include providing comprehensive access to medically supported reproduction services, including all procedures relating to the preparation for extracting male and female gametes, their processing, creation and cultivation of embryos, storage and ensuring the security of embryos as well as storage until used and transfer of created embryos to the uterus. The Ministry of Health has chosen, through an open competition, 26 medical centers to receive money to carry out the procedure. It should be noted that comparing to other EU countries, only in Poland, in vitro procedure has not been financed from the public funds at all. The procedure of in vitro enables impregnation for couples with infertility disorders.  It should be pointed out, that the current Polish legislation does not provide for the prohibition of creating more embryos than needed for the transfer. In the literature of the subject, it is assumed that IVF in Poland is acceptable and can be included in activities that fall within the scope of the practice of a physician. At this point, previous attempts of statutory regulation of artificial insemination should be indicated. The most important documents are the two acts: the deputy  J. Gowin`s project and the Civic Project. Addressing the problem of funding in vitro by the regulation of the Minister of Health is also worth mentioning. Such a solution, however,  is not possible due to the lack of  legal basis to issue a regulation on the law of transplantation... (segue)

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