There are so many studies and research done to know the effectiveness of in vitro fertilisation. Some scientists even developed far more intricate ways on how to manipulation reproduction through the use of this artificial reproductive technology (ART). Along with the reinvention and medical update of these scientific fertility methods come the noise and ethical controversy surrounding IVF. Here, let is find out the IVF ethical issues fertility clinics and specialists encounter today.
IVF ethical issues: Man playing God
The intelligence of man can never be measured since it develops as time goes by. With the rise of different innovations in science, reproductive methods including IVF that help increase the chances of infertile couples and women to bear their own offsprings, have been developed and experimented to further improve their chances of success. This development makes ethical groups question the reason as to why scientists manipulate even the smallest cells in the body just to procreate. They blame it on the innate nature of man to play God. Scientists, however, deny that this thinking has never crossed their minds. They are simply helping women and couples with fertility issues who are more than willing to have their own family. They find ways on how each cycle of IVF can be successful so that the resources and the effort spent by the parents-in-the-making are not put to waste.
IVF ethical issues: The potential harm to the mother or child
This issue can be classified into two categories; the inherent risks directed to the unborn child, and the medical risks and complications that can affect the mother.
IVF ethical issues: Risks and complications of IVF to the mother
Multiple pregnancies. If the couple and their fertility doctor decide to implant more than one embryo in the mother’s womb, chances of multiple pregnancies increase. This may be okay for couples who intend to have twins or triplets, but for those whose health cannot accommodate multiple gestations at the same time, the overall wellbeing of the mother may be compromised. Clear discussion of each IVF step within the cycle should be clearly discussed so that complications and risks with regard to IVF are transparent and understood.
IVF ethical issues: Risks and complications of IVF to the child
Unused embryos. The probabilities of fertilisation determine the number of embryos that are implanted to the woman’s womb, and this varies depending on the mother’s age. The number of embryos would then up the likelihood of pregnancy, so the mother and the fertility specialist should clearly discuss this. Those embryos that are not needed for implantation are frozen or considered a waste. This idea of treating unused embryos a procedural waste makes ethical groups raise their eyebrows because they already consider embryos as living organisms who will develop into human beings. They claim that destroying embryos can also be accounted for as murder. However, scientists explain that embryos are protoplasms, where the act of freezing or terminating it is valid is beyond the bounds of ethics.
Genetic anomalies. There are genes inherited from both parents that may be transmitted to the embryo. Social groups against IVF claim that couples who have genetic disorders should be prohibited from bearing a child since the life that their child would lead can possibly be in vain because of an inherited disease. Fertility specialists answer this issue by stating that there are different ways on how to make sure that the strain of gene or chromosome that carries the disease would be manipulated during the IVF process to make sure that it would not be passed on to the child.
Excessive scientific influence. Ethical groups condemn fertility specialists who use IVF to select the gender of a couple’s baby. They fear that time would come that even the eye or hair colour of a child will be artificially worked on to please a couple’s aesthetic demands for their child. However, fertility doctors deny this by saying that the process done during the IVf cycle that handles the genetic characteristics of an embryo is limited to what is ethically accepted.
If you are contemplating about undergoing IVF, let these issues be your guide in asking questions and getting information from your trusted fertility expert so that any doubt or questions you may have on your mind may be answered and addressed by the specialist.