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Ethical Issues of Infertility Treatment, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 551

Essay

Today, thanks to modern medicine, there are many options available to treat infertility in both men and women. For men, treatment can include medication, behavioral counseling, vibratory stimulation for men with a spinal injury that prevents ejaculation, or retrieving sperm directly from the reproductive tract. (Mayo Clinic Staff) For women, fertility drugs are the main treatment. Some brand names of common fertility drugs include Clomid, Repronex, Bravelle, Ovidrel, and Pregnyl. Surgery is an option for some women, for instance when there is a blockage in the fallopian tubes that can be surgically repaired. Assisted reproductive technology, or ART, includes in-vitro fertilization, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, and assisted hatching. (Mayo Clinic Staff)

The above infertility treatments help thousands of babies be born throughout the world every year. However, from an ethical standpoint, not everyone agrees with infertility treatment. The argument exists that treatment of infertility is immoral. Those against treatment argue if a person is infertile it is God’s will. The opposing side argues that if infertility treatments do not work, then it is God’s will. (Morris) The debate over whether infertility is a disease exists. If infertility is a disease, then it would be right to treat it, as cancer and other diseases are treated. However, if infertility does not threaten a person’s life or directly inhibit their ability to live a healthy lifestyle, can it be considered a disease? (Malpani) Others argue that not being able to have a child is an impairment of a normal lifestyle, bringing up another ethical issue. Does every person have a right to a child? Some argue that a child is a gift from God infertile couples are not meant to receive. Others that an embryo has the potential to grow into a human being and since no one person has the moral right to possess another, no one has a “right” to a child. (Malpani)

These are issues that require much thought to form a full opinion on. A simple Google search will reveal a number of ethical issues regarding infertility treatment above what has been presented here. For myself, I have the opinion that, ultimately, free will should reign. In that light, it is not for the law to decide who should and should not have access to infertility treatments. As long as the treatments themselves pose no harm to the recipient or resulting child, there is no need for them to be governed by a legal entity beyond the Hippocratic oath. The decision to seek infertility treatment should be a personal one, to be judged by one greater than me. In that same vein, all financial obligation that goes along with that decision should be belong to those who receive the treatment and those alone, through insurance and private payment. In this way, the use of infertility treatment is not indirectly endorsed by those who oppose it. Any person or couple that can financially and morally reconcile the decision for themselves should be allowed access to treatment.

Bibliography

Fertility Today Magazine. Fertility Law and Ethics. 2012. 6 March 2012 <http://fertilitytoday.org/fertility_law_ethics.html>.

Malpani, M.D., Aniruddha. The Social and Ethical Issues – Right or Wrong? 2011. 6 March 2012 <http://www.drmalpani.com/book/chapter46.html>.

Mayo Clinic Staff. Infertility. 2 August 2011. 6 March 2012 <http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/infertility/DS00310/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs>.

Morris, Randy S., M.D. Does a Person have a right to a Child. 27 July 2009. 6 August 2012 <http://www.ivf1.com/right-to-a-child/>.

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