Some developed countries with public health care will offer in-vitro fertilization (IVF) to aid couples with their reproductive problems. Having trouble conceiving is thus regarded as a medical problem and treatment although expensive, is paid for through public health services. Now, nature news reports on a drive to extend such IVF-treatment to developing countries as well.
“The inability to have children can create enormous problems, particularly for the woman,”
“She might be disinherited, ostracized, accused of witchcraft, abused by local healers, separated from her spouse or abandoned to a second-class life in a polygamous marriage.”
I know perfectly well that I myself, am fortunate to have my own children. I thus, may not be able to understand the suffering that infertility can lead to (especially in the developing world).
Nevertheless, trying to be objective on this issue, isn’t it obvious that this is a misuse of health resources ?
In the developed world I find it immoral to spend public resources and money, on IVF. Adoption can help children who would otherwise suffer and in my mind, should be the alternative for infertile couples. Of course one cannot and should not, stop people if they would like to pay for assisted reproduction themselves. But, treating infertility is not a public responsibility.
In the developing world where resources are scarce, I find it even more immoral. The problem for infertile women in these countries is so clearly, a social problem, not a medical one. Put the money towards making them treat their women better, instead of giving credibility to prejudice and discrimination by treating this condition.
Also, in a world soon to be overpopulated, isn’t this just another step towards doom ?