Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Italians fail to overturn restrictive reproduction law

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 16 June 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:1405

Rapid Response:

Some more accuracy

Mr Turone's article cites the results of a survey by the Observatory
of Procreative Tourism set up by Cecos Italia, an inter-clinic

The figures mentioned by Mr Turone are, however, innacurate. The
survey above found an increase in the overall number of couples, from 1066
before the law to 4173 in 2006. The highest increase was in the 7 Spanish
clinics included in the survey, where the number of Italian couples rose
from 60 prior to the law, to 1356 after the law.

SOme aspects related to the survery should be raised, however. First,
the reporting is not entirely clear: The survey report does not mention
the exact time frame in which these numbers were registered. For instance,
are the numbers post-law for 2006 only, or for the period 2004-2006?

Also, there may be methodoloigcal concerns - for example the survey
included 27 clinics (in 10 countries), but the selection criteria for
these clinics is not clearly explained.

The general finding of the survey, i.e. the fact that reproductive
tourism from Italy to other coutrnies has been increasing in the post-law
period, is most likely true. What is untrue is the extent of this. Some
caution in interpreting the results may be thus recommended, and
limitations of the survery may be worth mentioning.

The original report can be found at:

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

24 July 2007
Irina Haivas
Master student, MSc International Health Policy
London School of Economics