Friday, February 1, 2013

Fertility in the News

Israel has long been hailed as a country on the cutting edge of fertility technology, and two recent articles throw some of that reputation into question.

The first piece that appeared this week stated that Israeli hospital institutions were in fact going beyond the fertility protocol in terms of frequency of treatment, as a result there has been a recent drop in the success rate.

The second article (in today's Haartez) reported that professional committees will be set up in all hospitals to asses the fitness of a potential parent, and states that doctors will now have the right to refuse the procedure, "only if it is clear that the child's quality of life will be so poor that it's possible to say it would be better had never been born."  Of course this new ethical inquiry would affect only those women who are attempting a so-called unnatural birth, a standard couple  having sex will not be scrutinized even if they would make lousy parents.

The criteria include physically disabled applicants, those with a clear history of psychological disorders, and patients with a background of drug or alcohol abuse, sex offenses or child abuse.

The fertility panel estimates that out of the 20-30,000 women who receive fertility treatments, only 50 to 100 will be referred onward to the committee.

I certainly don't see myself as a risk to my child or society, though I wonder if I would have passed their standards as a single mother by choice.  That's a lot of power to give to one group of people, literally the power of life.

1 comment:

Midlife Singlemum said...

Interesting take. My opinion on this is that the IVF doctors already have the power of life. As it's such an enormous power it makes sense to have it regulated in some way. And there are some circumstances - like the ones you mentioned, when social services jump in to protect the child as soon as it is born by removing it from the dangers of it's natural family. It would be senseless to help such a family to have a baby.