CFAS Endorsement of the COVID-19 and Human Reproduction Joint Statement: ASRM/ESHRE/IFFS - 2020
The Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS) is pleased to endorse the Joint Statement on Assisted Reproduction and COVID-19 issued by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) and the International Federation of Fertility Societies (IFFS).
The Joint Statement raises several important points. Specifically, that reproduction is an essential human right that exists regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or country of origin, that the initial postponement of all but most urgent fertility care in the early days of the pandemic was necessary, and that the selective resumption of this important healthcare is now warranted.
Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society Endorses C David Naylor Report on Strengthening the Foundations of Canadian Research - May 2017
The Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS), the voice of researchers in the field of reproductive medicine in Canada, strongly supports the findings of Canada’s Fundamental Science Review released by C David Naylor in April 2017. The Report is a much-needed declaration of the importance of fundamental research in Canada given the current flat-lining of research funds and widespread loss of confidence in the Canadian scientific funding mechanism. The CFAS agrees that the recommendations laid out in the report are vital for the future of Canada’s place in global health care.
Developments at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Canada’s principal source of funds for medically-related science research, have increasingly placed an overwhelming focus on commercialization, with far too little emphasis on the value of fundamental scientific inquiry. However, clinical advances are often dependent on achievements in basic research and there is a long history of fundamental research leading to critical advances in reproductive medicine and assisted reproduction. One of many examples is the culture media used in today’s clinical IVF treatments that was developed as a result of many years of empirical basic research performed using oocytes and embryos from animal models. The CFAS thus strongly agrees with Dr Naylor that, “neglecting basic science owing to impatience or uncertainty contradicts much of the historical evidence.”
Canada is at the forefront of fundamental research in the area of reproductive medicine, with world leading laboratories publishing cutting-edge research in the areas of gametogenesis, fertilisation, and embryo development and differentiation, to name but a few. By following through on the recommendations of the Naylor Report, we will have the opportunity to maintain our leadership in this field of science and medicine. The CFAS membership comprises both basic scientists and clinicians focused on reproductive biology. AS such, we have a long track-record of fostering collaboration at scientists and clinicians, thus maximising the likelihood of frontline discoveries being translated into clinical progress. CFAS does not position itself to ‘compete’ with other fields of research, but rather wholeheartedly supports an increase in basic science funding across all biomedical disciplines.
CFAS strongly endorses the sentiment of the Naylor Report finding that investigator-led operating grants be given the highest priority, as important discoveries arise when talented scientists are trusted to form and test their hypotheses. Moreover, CFAS welcomes the observation that further aid for early career researchers is essential. Canada has a rich vein of talented young scientists with focus on basic and applied reproduction, and whose ability to flourish is currently under threat at the hands of low grant success rates. By re-investing in fundamental research, we mitigate the risk of losing some of the smartest minds in our field.
We conclude that the report is well considered, timely, and has the potential to leave a lasting positive impact of Canadian scientific research. This, in turn, will have far-reaching impact upon health care and the broader economy. Canada must bring investments in front-line research back in line with other G7 countries so that it can be competitive and at the forefront of science and innovation. We applaud Minister Duncan for launching this enquiry, and now encourage the Federal Government to adopt the findings of the Naylor Report. The Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society would be honoured to participate in any way that might aid its implementation.
Accreditation of Assisted Human Reproduction Centres - 2012
The Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (CFAS) endorses the accreditation of organizations engaged in providing assisted human reproduction services. Accreditation sets standards of excellence and promotes a culture of continuous quality improvement. Achieving excellence through continuous quality improvement is central to the goals and philosophy of the Society. Through accreditation, organizations can establish a standard of care so that no matter where patients are treated within Canada, they can be assured of receiving safe, high quality reproductive care. Accreditation, therefore, is an essential element of ensuring a standard excellence within the industry and in enabling public trust in assisted reproductive technologies.