Question: is IVF a good thing?
Keith Brain answered on 21 Jun 2010:
IVF allows couples to have children when they wouldn’t otherwise be able to do so. I think that this is a good thing, although some disagree on religious grounds because it interferes with God’s will. I’d counter that God (from a Christion point of view) gave us brains to think and overcome such problems. However, I respect the right of others to make different decisions on this point.
The even more difficult question is whether genetic manipulation or selection should be carried out in conjuction with ivf, and this is currently a hot topic of debate.
Vicki Stevenson answered on 21 Jun 2010:
I think that IVF can be a good thing. I think a lot of the dispute arises when something like IVF costs a lot of money from the NHS, when other people are desperately waiting for lifesaving operations.
Emma Carter answered on 21 Jun 2010:
Yes it’s a very good thing. It’s enables couples to concieve who would otherwise not be able to. It’s not something people take lightly as it’s very emotionally draining, time consuming, physically uncomfortable and can be costly if it’s not funded. IVF is actually relatively inexpensive by NHS standards and they only fund a couple to have between 1 and 3 cycles of treatment (depending on where they live) – the rest they have to self-fund.
There are ethical issues regarding any spare embryos – should there be any – and the couple can choose to keep these frozen and use them in a future cycle – or they can donate them to another couple who can’t use their own. Alternatively they are allowed to perish which some people would obvisouly take issue with.
Alastair Sloan answered on 21 Jun 2010:
Well this is a very emotive question and one which can provide alot of different answers depending on who you ask. If you are desperate for a child then it can be a very good thing. But, there is a fine line between doing something just because we can and stopping to reflect on the social and ethical issues associated with it. For example, the incidence of multiple births (twins, triplets) is increased during IVF which has a severe impact on the the parents and the state. There is also the question of storage of fertilised embryos and if they constitute life. My view is that it is a good thing and has helped many fantastic parents have the opportunity to become parents. It needs to be used correctly and sensibly with practitioners and licensing authorities stopping every now and then to reflect and reconsider the social and ethical issues.