Quebec proposes to ban women over 42 from having IVF

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 18 December 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g7724
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. 1Montreal

Quebec, which five years ago became the first Canadian province and the only jurisdiction in North America to publicly fund in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment, has announced plans to ban all IVF treatment for women aged over 42, even if they are willing to pay for it themselves.

Currently before Quebec’s national assembly, Bill 20 is the first legislation in the world to impose an absolute age limit on IVF treatment. The ban applies even to women using donated or previously frozen eggs, unless they were frozen during a medical crisis such as cancer.

Bill 20 also imposes fines of up to $C50 000 (£27 000; $43 000; €34 000) on doctors who refer women over 42 for IVF treatment outside the province. It removes IVF treatment from the realm of public health insurance altogether, offering instead a means tested tax credit varying from 20% to 80% of the full cost …

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