Who the Extended Limit Benefits
This new limit will apply to everyone regardless of medical needs and will allow more reproductive choice. It gives people the opportunity to make a considered choice about the right time to have their family, without pressure.
Government and Medical Opinion on the Proposed Extension
Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, has stated that the current ten-year limit is “severely restrictive”, whilst doctors have noted that the ten-year limit is not based on science as there’s now no impact on quality, should the frozen duration be extended. Research from the Royal College of Obstetricians suggests that modern freezing techniques could store embryos, eggs and sperm indefinitely while maintaining as much potential as fresh genetic material.
Is this altogether a good thing?
The ethics of this move are not by any means clear-cut. Questioning whether this change is in the selfish interests of the parents rather than the good of the child, some people are concerned about the increase in age of parents that may occur due to the extension, and the impact this may have on both the parents and the child. However, government and the HFEA are giving assurances that regulations will be made to prevent children being born to old parents. One proposal has been that an intended parent not be allowed to use the frozen material beyond their 50th birthday. There would also be measures against medical misconduct.