Human Experience for Re Ethics on Reproductive Technology


HideShow resource information
Preview of Human Experience for Re Ethics on Reproductive Technology

First 697 words of the document:

'Octomom' backlash causes US states to propose new
laws on fertility clinics
MacKenna Roberts
Progress Educational Trust
09 March 2009[BioNews, London]
Public outrage over the IVFconceived octuplets born in January to Nadya Suleman in California has
led US legislators in Missouri and Georgia to propose laws that would limit the number of embryos a
woman may have implanted when receiving a single fertility treatment. Georgia Senator Ralph
Hudgens criticised Suleman's case, saying it is 'unforgiveable that she is unemployed and having 14
children on the backs of the taxpayers...' Supporters hope these measures will prevent rogue fertility
clinics from unethically transferring a high number of embryos into women to increase their
pregnancy success rates.
Critics argue that assisted reproduction is not an exact science and a blanket limit removes clinicians'
flexibility to provide the best medical care. Dr Andrew Toledo, medical director of an Atlantabased
fertility clinic, warns that the measures are a 'cookiecutter, one sizefitsall approach' and disregard
important individual circumstances that determine the optimum number of embryos transferred for
increased chances of pregnancy. Legal experts have voiced constitutionality concerns against the
legislation impinging fundamental reproductive freedom and use of own genetic materials. A
spokesman for the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) specifically decried the
Georgia bill as using the octuplets as 'an excuse to pass an extreme antiabortion measure'. The
Center for Genetics and Society called for a federal solution to prevent the state 'mishmash of
policies' allowing patients to shop statetostate for their desired treatment law.
The ASRM national guidelines recommend that a certain number of embryos be transferred
depending on a woman's age and medical prognosis for successfully responding to IVF treatment.
These recommend that women under 35 should have no more than two embryos transferred and
women between 35 and 40 should have no more than three embryos transferred. Women over forty
may have up to five embryos transferred during a single treatment due to their increased difficulty to
Missouri Republican Dr Robert Schaaf has tabled a measure that would convert these guidelines into
state law. He acknowledges that it is a selfregulating industry wherein most specialists already
comply with these standards, and the incidence of multiplebirth pregnancies has significantly
decreased in the last decade. Still, he wishes that doctors be legally prevented from complying with
patient requests to participate in harmful procedures as with Suleman, 33, who requested that five
embryos be transferred despite the risks. California's medical board is currently investigating
Suleman's fertility doctor and has proposed legislation empowering its Medical Board to supervise
Californiabased fertility clinics.
The Georgia bill limits women under forty to having at most two embryos transferred and women over
forty to three embryos maximum. The bill, titled The Ethical Treatment of Human Embryos Act, also
outlaws the disposal of frozen embryos similar to Louisiana law and defines an embryo as a
'biological human being'. It was drafted by lawyers from the Bioethics Defense Fund, an antiabortion
and antiembryonic stem cell research group and is supported by the Georgia Right to Life.
Republican Senator Hudgens, who sponsored the bill for committee review last Thursday, denied it
impacts on abortion and claims it only aims to prevent 'what happened in California from happening
in Georgia'.
Suleman's story also attracted international fascination and highlighted the relevance of an ongoing
UK debate that ultimately has led to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, the
government's fertility watchdog, rolling out a new multiple birth policy that strongly encourages single
embryo transfer (SET) where medically appropriate. The HFEA wrote a letter at the end of February to
the NHS Directors of Public Health outlining the importance that individual clinics devise consistent
policies of their own implementing the HFEA policy initiative for each clinic to reduce its annual
percentage of multiple birth rates over three years to a target 10 per cent from a 24 per cent limit in

Other pages in this set

Page 2

Preview of page 2

Here's a taster:

Birth of octuplets to mother of six prompts
investigation of US fertility doctor
MacKenna Roberts
Progress Educational Trust
17 February 2009
[BioNews, London]
The decision to implant six embryos into Nadya Suleman leading
to the birth of octuplets has attracted international opprobrium.
The 33yearold unemployed single mother already had six
children conceived after IVF with the same fertility doctor all aged
below eight, including twoyearold twins and an autistic son.…read more

Page 3

Preview of page 3

Here's a taster:

Dr Kamrava did 'nothing wrong'.
Most countries' guidelines warn against multipleembryo transfer
as too risky for the mother and children. 'I am deeply disappointed
that any fertility clinic... anywhere, would do this,' commented
Colorado reproductive endocrinologist Eric Surrey, former
president of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology
(SART).…read more

Page 4

Preview of page 4

Here's a taster:

UK government considers allowing gametes to be frozen for up to 55 years
Katy Sinclair
Progress Educational Trust
23 February 2009
BioNews, London]
Draft regulations proposed by the UK government would allow men and women at risk from infertility
to freeze their sperm and eggs for a maximum of 55 years, as opposed to the current ten year limit.…read more

Page 5

Preview of page 5

Here's a taster:

Canada after fertility treatment
Sarah Guy
Progress Educational Trust
17 February 2009
A 60 yearold woman has sparked controversy in Canada by travelling to India to
receive fertility treatment after years of failed attempts to conceive naturally.
Ranjit Hayer, originally from India, has become the oldest woman in Canada to
give birth after receiving IVF at Dr Anoop Gupta's Delhi fertility clinic her twin
boys were delivered seven weeks prematurely by Caesarean section at the
Foothills hospital in Calgary last week.…read more

Page 6

Preview of page 6

Here's a taster:

Egg donation is also widely desired by foreign patients, and
according to Dr Gupta, has been on the increase since the economic downturn.
New screening technique developed in UK clinic may improve IVF success rate
Nadeem Shaikh
Progress Educational Trust
04 February 2009
A British fertility clinic has revealed they have developed a new method of
screening eggs for IVF treatment.…read more

Page 7

Preview of page 7

Here's a taster:

NHS. The British Fertility Society says that more
studies are required.…read more


No comments have yet been made

Similar Religious Studies resources:

See all Religious Studies resources »See all resources »