On BioScience and Life and Such

Posts Tagged ‘public health care’

Ok then, everyone can have IVF….

In Uncategorized on May 6, 2008 at 8:33 pm

I have clearly entered an argue against myself phase, and since reading this article quoted on Genomeboy pushed me further into this “disagree with self” state, I am going to argue against another one of my posts.

In a previous post called “Should public health care pay for IVF-treatment ?” I argued that public health care, with its limited resources, should not prioritize ART/IVF, especially not in developing countries where health resources can be very limited indeed. This spurred a lengthy discussion with Faith over at Invisible Grief. I must admit that I learned a lot from that discussion. Now, since I am also considering Transhumanism, it is time to reevaluate where I stand on this subject. Transhumanism is all about giving everyone access to biomedical technology and also about embracing the widespread use of such technologies to enhance our biological selves.

Whatever I may land on on Transhumanism however, I have reached the conclusion that everyone should have access to ART/IVF. This I guess, is in contrast to arguments in my previous post.

……But, I still think that this treatment should be financed separately (outside of the public health budgets), either through dedicated public funds or privately. Such a separation will clearly state that ART is a desired medical technology either as a part of a policy on reproduction for everyone or as a part of a womens rights plan. The key criterion for such an endorsement of ART/IVF must be universal and unrestricted access to assisted reproduction technologies for everyone.

….Accessible to everyone………herein lies the crux…….Answer: It must be publicly funded. Thus, I stand corrected (by me), – again.


Should public health care pay for IVF-treatment ?

In Uncategorized on March 18, 2008 at 9:34 am

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.

Why ?


“The inability to have children can create enormous problems, particularly for the woman,”

…………problems like……………….

“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 ?