Re: “Washingtonians deserve equitable access to infertility care” [Jan. 18, Opinion]:
The fertility bill currently before the Legislature (HB 1730 / SB 5647) is vital for helping those most in need.
Every year there are young Washingtonians diagnosed with cancer before they have even started their family. Unfortunately, lifesaving cancer treatment often renders patients infertile. For a young adult already reeling from a new cancer diagnosis, taking away their dreams of a future family is absolutely devastating. Currently, health insurance will cover many cancer-treatment costs, including medications for nausea and fatigue, breast reconstruction surgery, and even wigs, yet somehow fertility-preservation services including egg and sperm freezing for resulting infertility are excluded.
This is illogical, and it further jeopardizes a patient’s well-being during the most vulnerable time in their life. Cancer survivorship is at an all-time high, and studies show that maintaining hope for children with fertility preservation is among the most important issues affecting quality of life. People with cancer simply do not have access to the full spectrum of care they need. It is crucial that Washington pass this essential family building measure.
Lynn Bentley Davis, M.D., M.S., Seattle