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Pasquale Patrizio, M.D.

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2009 - Spring

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Pasquale Patrizio, M.D., director of the Yale Fertility Center and professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences, addressed the Italian Parliament in Rome in January on a 2004 Italian law that restricts in vitro fertilization (IVF) practices. According to Patrizio and other experts, the law has led to fewer pregnancies and higher rates of multiple births. The law limits insemination to three eggs per patient—if all three eggs result in fertilization, all three embryos must be transferred for implantation. The law also bars genetic screening to prevent the transfer of embryos with lethal or severely disabling diseases. As a result, fewer Italian women are getting pregnant through IVF on their first try, causing them to go through multiple IVF cycles. Patrizio hopes that he convinced the legislature that the law does a disservice to Italian women and also encourages couples to seek fertility treatments in countries with less restrictive legislation.