March 3, 2024


 The contrarian Lord Robert Winston, one of the pioneers of IVF, has once again attacked his colleagues in the IVF industry, this time for having been corrupted by money and for exploiting women who are desperate to get pregnant. "One of the major problems facing us in healthcare is that IVF has become a massive commercial industry," he said at the Guardian Hay Festival. "It’s very easy to exploit people by the fact that they’re desperate and you’ve got the technology which they want, which may not work."

Lord Winston was particularly scathing about his London colleagues: "Amazing sums of money are being made through IVF. It is really rather depressing to consider that some IVF treatments in London are charged at 10 times the fee that is charged in Melbourne, where there is excellent medicine, where IVF is just as successful, where they have comparable salaries. So one has to ask oneself what has happened. What has happened, of course, is that money is corrupting this whole technology."

Nor did he spare the UK’s fertility watchdog, the Human Fertility and Embryology Authority: "The regulatory authority has done a consistently bad job. It’s not prevented the exploitation of women, it’s not put out very good information to couples, it’s not limited the number of unscientific treatments people have access to, it doesn’t prevent sex selection and all sorts of other things people don’t like because there are all sorts of ways around the law."