Mar 09, 2018 Athletic Comments Off on Rules on subsidies for artificial reproduction could be eased
Taipei, The existing government subsidies available for artificial reproduction could be relaxed to cover a wider range of individuals who want to have babies, Premier Lai Ching-te (???) said Friday.
"If the current rules are too stringent, it will be hard for the government to achieve its objective," Lai said while answering questions from lawmaker Chang Liao Wang-chien (????), who proposed during a plenary session that single women should also be covered for the subsidies.
According to Chang Liao, the subsides, granted by the central government since 2014, are currently available only for citizens with low and middle incomes. Only 34 people had received the subsidies as of 2016 due to the stringency of the rules, he said.
In response, Lai said the Ministry of Health and Welfare has been assessing the pros and cons of the idea but added that he will not make any rash comments before social consensus is reached on the matter.
As it is a complex matter involving many ethical issues, society needs to hold deep and comprehensive dialogue to find its direction on the issue, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (???) said.
Meanwhile, Lai Tsung-hsuan (???), an obstetrician at the Cathay General Hospital in Taipei, said he is in favor of the proposal as the law should be applied to the public indiscriminately.
Their remarks were just part of debate in society arising from a contentious case in which a 62-year-old woman gave birth to a boy in late February through artificial reproduction.
Although the woman set a record as the oldest woman to give birth in Taiwan, the case has triggered widespread misgivings about artificial reproduction.
Some also questioned whether a woman who has passed menopause should be allowed to get pregnant using artificial reproduction.
Meanwhile, the Health Promotion Administration announced that it will call a meeting with experts in April to discuss whether single women should be made eligible to receive artificial reproduction.
Responding to this specific question, Health Promotion Administration (HPA) Deputy Director-General Chen Ran-chou (???) said Friday that Taiwanese women who have already passed menopause are viewed as infertile and are thus entitled to artificial reproduction.
"As the Artificial Reproduction Act does not set an age ceiling for infertile women seeking artificial methods of giving birth, women with no menopause, no matter their age, are therefore not excluded from the Artificial Reproduction Act," Chen told CNA.
According to Huang Min-chao (???), secretary-general of the Taiwan Association of Obstetrics and Gynecology, a married couple who have not taken contraception measures will be diagnosed as infertile should the wife fail to get pregnant for one year.
As to the question of whether post-menopausal women should be considered infertile, Huang replied "yes." From the medical point of view, those who no longer have periods or produce eggs are viewed as unable to reproduce, he explained.
Huang, however, admitted that many implications will arise after older mothers give birth.
Apart from child-rearing problems, older mothers face huge risks from cardiovascular disease and diabetes, while children born to them could suffer from premature delivery, chromosome aberrations and growth retardation, he said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel
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