Bill 20 and Assisted Procreation : The FMSQ asks the Minister to redo his homework

Montreal, March 17, 2015 – Taking part today in the private consultations and public hearings of the Committee on Health and Social Services on the subject of Bill 20, the Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec (FMSQ) provided parliamentarians with an overview of its observations, commentaries and criticisms regarding Part II of this Bill, on the issue of assisted procreation.

"Part II of this Bill, which aims at practically abolishing the Quebec Assisted Reproduction Program, is just as unacceptable as Part I. The FMSQ has always insisted that the program needed to be refocused so as to cover only cases of medically-recognized infertility, not that it be abolished ! Contrary to Gaétan Barrette, now Minister, the FMSQ has not changed its mind," initially indicated the President of the FMSQ, Dr Diane Francœur.

"In 2013, the FMSQ took part in the Health and Welfare Commissioner's hearings. In fact, in his report, the latter did not recommend the abolition of this program either, but referred instead to several points we had previously raised in our white paper. We had insisted on the need to create a registry aimed at recording all of the data relative to medically-assisted procreation procedures, including information regarding the state of physical and mental health of the children born thanks to it. We also wanted to implement a single access point and, as is done in the case of adoptions in Quebec, make a preliminary psychosocial evaluation obligatory for any candidate wanting to take advantage of the program," continued Dr Francœur.

"We would have expected the Minister of Health to take advantage of his Bill to correct the shortcomings he had himself brought up when he was President of the FMSQ. But, no. In addition to abolishing the public program, the Minister is introducing a series of ludicrous rules, some of which really go overboard. The Minister now wants to enter Quebeckers' bedrooms by regulating the number of sexual relations that couples have. We've never seen anything like it !" exclaimed Dr Francœur.

"In this regard, the Federation's position respects women. It also respects couples dealing with problems of fertility. But, it is also concerned with the children who will be born thanks to assisted procreation. As a result, we are asking members of the Committee to ensure that Part II of this Bill reflects the essence of the recommendations made by the FMSQ and by the Health and Welfare Commissioner," concluded Dr. Francœur.

The FMSQ's white paper may be accessed here.

The Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec represents close to 10,000 medical specialists certified in one of the 53 recognized medical specialties.