LONDON, September 11, 2003 ( – A prominent UK physician has serious misgivings over the use of many fertility treatments that are now standard practice in IVF facilities. Lord Robert Winston, head of fertility at Hammersmith Hospital, London, said that more clinical trials were needed before many of the standard IVF “treatments” could be made safe. He feels also that experiments should be carried out on animals and “spare” embryos left over from IVF procedures.

Lord Winston surprised an audience at the British Association Festival of Science by saying that he felt IVF patients were being used as guinea pigs in fertility experiments. When asked whether IVF patients were being experimented on, he replied: “That’s exactly what I am saying.”

Doctors are introducing new IVF procedures to boost clinic revenues without proper research being done to ensure safety. “I’m not arguing that IVF is dangerous. What I am arguing is that there isn’t any form of properly informed consentâEUR¦If you are using treatments that might damage somebody – such as an unborn child – then you have a duty to tell people,” he said.

Lord Winston said that practices such as the cryogenic freezing of embryos, the “maturing” of embryos in vitro for a few days before implantation had not been sufficiently tested before their use on humans. The motive, he says seems to be monetary, with the commercial aspect of IVF facilities, being emphasized over clinical research.

Pro-life commentators have been consistently asserting that women, and their children created through IVF, are being abused in the multi-billion dollar fertility industry. Dr. Dianne N. Irving, a graduate of The Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University, has warned numerous panels of scientists and politicians for many years that the practices of most fertility treatments are unethical, dangerous to women and children and amount to the use of patients, without their consent, as human test subjects.