Science can be seen to be a blessing to the human race in that, it has brought about more options in terms of solutions. In the past, a barren woman was seen to be cursed, and nothing could be done to help a couple who had fertility issues. The only choice they had been to adopt a child. In recent years, medical advances in fertility treatments have allowed infertile couples the option of having their biological child. This is through vitro-fertilization, artificial insemination and ovum transfer.
Nadya Suleman gave birth to octuplets a few years ago and brought to light the ethical concerns in fertility treatments. She was already a mother of six other children and was single and unemployed. This case generated a lot of public debate especially with regard to the ethical implications it had. This mother should not have been implanted with so many fertilized eggs. This is because it not only put her, but her unborn babies at risk. She was already a mother of six; she did not need to have any more children let alone eight. This begs the question of the responsibility that the Doctor had in determining the suitability of this woman as a candidate of fertility treatment. Why would a mother of six children need fertility treatments? Should not it be only available to couples who have the dire need of having children of their own? (Feldman 165)
According to Feldman (2010), the refusal to allow this woman to have more children would not impinge upon her rights to choose the size of her family. It is in fact, protecting her right to life in ensuring that she does not undergo any life threatening risks. It also goes a long way in preserving the rights of her unborn children who deserve to have their basic needs met. This would be difficult for the mother to provide basing it on the fact that she is single and unemployed. It would be financially strenuous to give the best life possible to these children especially when it comes to education and health.
Financially unstable couples should have access to fertility treatments because denying them would impede their individual right to family. Fertility treatments have long been a privilege of the rich because the procedures are very expensive. This has locked out many low income couples from approaching the treatments because they can barely even afford the consultation let alone the procedures. The Government should take it upon themselves to find strategies and pass by-laws so as decentralize fertility programs, and make it available to low income earning couples.
Selective reduction is controversial in that the Doctors are somewhat seen to play ‘God’ with the lives of fetuses. It is a practice that I find wrong in that every fetus has a right to life and as such should be protected and respected. Multiple births should be monitored from their early stages in order to ensure that the fetuses develop into healthy live births. The fertility doctors should also ensure that they implant the right amount of fertilized eggs so as to prevent a scenario that calls for selective reduction.
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