February 2003

The British Fertility Society is pleased that a decision has been reached which will allow all those involved in this difficult case to come to terms with the problems they have faced. We would like to express our sympathy to all those involved. As providers of assisted conception treatment to thousands of couples each year, we are aware of the anguish and heartache associated with infertility. Assisted conception can bring great joy to families, and errors are extremely rare. Systems of risk management continue to be refined in the light of these distressing recent events but patients should be reassured that with over 25000 treatments performed and over 7000 babies born from IVF per year in the UK incidents such as occurred in Leeds are exceedingly rare.

Dr Alison Murdoch, Chair of the British Fertility Society stated: “Our sympathy goes out to all those involved in this case. Where errors occur we must learn from them, and as a matter of policy IVF units are continually reviewing their procedures to ensure that mistakes are not repeated.”