Slater and Gordon is investigating the possibility of commencing a class action against IVF providers on behalf of Australians who have been sold PGT-A, whether they were successful in having a baby or not.
What is PGT-A?
Preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy (PGT-A, sometimes called Preimplantation Genetic Screening or PGS) is a technique used by IVF clinics to analyse the number of chromosomes present in IVF embryos.
A waste product or one or more cells of the embryo is obtained by biopsy and tested. Only embryos with what is considered to be a normal number of chromosomes in each cell (euploid embryos) are then transferred into the uterus.
Embryos that are considered to have an abnormal number of chromosomes (aneuploidy) and those found to possess both normal and abnormal cells (mosaic) are then generally discarded.
The treatment is marketed to patients to maximise their chance of a successful pregnancy and increase the live birth rate.
PGT-A has enjoyed a marked increase in use by IVF clinics in recent years. However, there is significant evidence to suggest that the test is not an effective determination of an embryo’s chance of culminating in a live birth. There is also evidence that PGT-A may even reduce the overall chance of a live birth in a cycle and over the course of IVF treatment.
In recent years, the Practice Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine concluded there is insufficient evidence to recommend the routine use of PGT-A in all infertile patients.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority in the UK found there is no evidence from randomised controlled trials to show that PGT-A is effective at improving the chances of having a baby for most fertility patients.
The recent Cochrane international systematic review of all randomised controlled trials reporting on clinical outcomes for IVF with PGT-A versus IVF without PGT-A concluded there is insufficient good-quality evidence of a difference in cumulative live birth rate, live birth rate after the first embryo transfer, or miscarriage rate between IVF with and IVF without PGT-A as currently performed. The effect of PGT-A on clinical pregnancy rate was found to be uncertain. The Cochrane review concluded that the currently available evidence is insufficient to support the use of PGT-A in routine clinical practice.
What are your legal rights?
Under Australian law, providers of services such as IVF clinics owe duties to their patients to ensure that the services they offer are fit for the particular purpose for which the patient is purchasing them and are of a nature or quality that they might reasonably be expected to achieve that purpose.
In relation to clinics providing PGT-A testing for the purpose of increasing the patient’s chance of achieving a live birth, it appears that these obligations may have been breached. If a provider of services is found to have failed to comply with a consumer guarantee such as this, they may be required to refund any money paid for the service back to the consumer.
We would like to hear from you.
If you have been affected by PGT-A or PGS, we would like to hear from you.
Please complete as much information in the form below.
If you have any further questions about the investigation, please contact us at IVF@SlaterGordon.com.au