by ProgressEducational Trust, http://www.progress.org.uk)
Leather, the new chair of the UK's Human Fertilisation and Embryology
Authority (HFEA), has urged women not to have children purely
because they fear the ticking of their biological clocks.
In an interview with
the Observer newspaper in which she said there
was 'more to life' than having children, Ms Leather stated: 'I think
the most important factor in deciding to have a baby is the relationship,
the social and emotional context in which a child is going
to come into the world. Just because you feel a biological clock
ticking, if other things aren't right I don't think it's a sensible
thing to do'.
Ms Leather also
commented on the expected increases in the cost of
IVF treatments. The HFEA said last month that it needs to increase its
budget by more than £2 million. One way it can do this is by increasing
clinic licence fees, which in turn might mean patients having
to pay more for treatment. But Ms Leather justified this by saying
that the HFEA cannot 'operate properly on a shoestring'.
New measures, such as
formal double-checking procedures and inspection
teams with greater levels of expertise, are likely to be introduced
in order to lessen the risks of clinical mistakes.
fertility treatment provision to the food industry - something
Ms Leather knows about as she is currently also the Deputy Chair
of the Food Standards Agency - she said 'If you look at the kind
of traceability that the food industry is subject to, I think there
are lessons for some of the health service. It couldn't be more
- The Observer 18/8/2002 'Life's
more than just babies, says IVF chief'
- The Observer: