The Instigator
HHolland3434
Pro (for)
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The Contender
MaggieWaller13
Con (against)
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IVF Debate

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/26/2015 Category: Science
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 293 times Debate No: 74267
Debate Rounds (5)
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HHolland3434

Pro

After reading author La Jolla IVF"s (specifically David B. Smotrich, M.D.) article called "Why Choose IVF?" at http://www.lajollaivf.com... I found these significant benefits and reasoning for In Vitro Fertilization. The biggest and most obvious benefit of In Vitro Fertilization is that it makes it possible for an individual or couple to have a baby. IVF gives anyone regardless of their gender or relationship status the ability to conceive a child. This process helps many people that have infertility issues. For example, women who have missing, blocked, or ruptured fallopian tubes are able to have their egg fertilized outside of the female body and then inserted inside the uterus, which helps to make implantation more likely through IVF. Men with infertility issues also benefit from IVF. For example, in many cases, a procedure with IVF called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is used to help men with low sperm count, those who can"t ejaculate sperm, irreversible vasectomies, and even testicular cancer survivors. IVF with the combination of ICSI can increase the chances of fertilization. This is why a lot of couples use IVF to conceive at times that are suitable to them. Also, the amount of options IVF gives parents with having children is another reason why people chose to use this process. These options include: conserving the extra eggs or sperm so that they can use it for future use, helping women that have experienced menopause so that they can still undergo a pregnancy since their uterus has the ability to carry a fetus, give the choice of having egg donors used to help the women who suffer from low ovarian reserve or just poor quality eggs, and lastly the parents have the option of someone else undergoing the pregnancy for them if the mother is not suitable to carry a full 9-month pregnancy. La Jolla also included some surprising statistics having to do with the success rate of pregnancy and live births when using IVF. With IVF, the Society of Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) found that 47.7% of women under the age of 35, 38.8% of women from the ages 35-37, and 29.9% of women from ages 38-40 all became successfully pregnant with the help of In Vitro Fertilization.
MaggieWaller13

Con

While IVF does give couples that have trouble conceiving naturally the opportunity to have children, the problems that arise from IVF completely outweigh the benefits. The first problem that arises with IVF is the cost. One cycle/round costs anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000, and there is no "refund" if it is unsuccessful (http://invitrofertilization.weebly.com...). The cost, most of the time, is what makes or breaks if a couple can undergo the procedure or not. Another problem that arises is that IVF does not have a 100% success rate; it is reported from the American Pregnancy Association that for a woman under the age of 35, the success rate is around 30-35% (and that success rate decreases as the age of the mother increases) (http://www.mamashealth.com...). For a couple to invest so much money, time, and emotion into this process and then have such a low success rate is heartbreaking. And again, if something goes wrong with the process and it is unsuccessful, the couple is unable to get their $10,000-$20,000 back (and their money becomes wasted). Along with the financial problem, the question arises "can you really put a price on a child?" (http://invitrofertilization.weebly.com...). IVF forces couples to place monetary values on embryos/children, which raises many ethical issues and even some guilt as a parent. A final problem that arises when dealing with IVF is the health of the mother. Many times, the process of IVF increases the risk of the mother having severe abdominal pain, nausea, weight gain, and other risks that come from over-stimulating the ovaries (http://www.mamashealth.com...). These problems that come out of IVF greatly outweigh the benefits, and should be taken into consideration.
Debate Round No. 1
HHolland3434

Pro

In reading Meg Lundstrom's informative guide about IVF on the WebMD"s Archive at http://www.webmd.com... she talked about basic procedures and processes that the couples undergo during IVF to help eliminate these problems you have mentioned that might arise. She stated that, at the start of the IVF process, a doctor will conduct an interview between the couple in order to determine what treatment will work best for them specifically through discussing medical and fertility history of both people. A doctor may also perform a hysteroscopy. This procedure may be done in order to determine the cause of severe cramping or abnormal bleeding, if the uterus" shape, size, or scar tissue is the cause of infertility, check potential blockage of the fallopian tubes, find the cause of repeated miscarriages, a misplaced intrauterine device, fibroid, or maybe even endometrial cancer. Pap Smears are also used to detect cervical cancer, other problems with the cervix, or active sexually transmitted diseases that could be factors in a female"s infertility. There are also different procedures to check the health of the woman"s reproductive organs including Hysterosalpingogram, Transvaginal ultrasound, Hysteroscopy, and Laparoscopy. Next, the female will undergo an ultrasound as well as blood test to be able to detect the state of her eggs and how many she has. The female will also meet with a financial counselor to ensure that any economical issues are resolved and worked out and then also be appointed to a psychologist to help cope with stress that might occur later in the process. Next, the female will undergo a series of injections to stimulate the growth of her eggs with medications like GonalF and Repronex, and also an injection of gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) to keep her from ovulating too early. Then around the 12th day, the female will be injected with human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) to start the ovulation. To monitor her progress and health the female will be visiting a clinic about 5 times to get her blood tested and ultrasound tests conducted during the two weeks. Another process specifically used in males with low sperm count as mentioned before is ICSI, this will ensure that once the doctor has extracted the eggs from the ovaries they can directly inject the sperm into an egg. For women that are over the age of 40 or have a history of failed attempts with IVF the doctor might conduct a process called hatching on the embryo where he/she punctures it"s outer shell before transferring it into the uterus so that it can implant itself more easily and sufficiently. If there is a concern regarding genetic diseases from family history then before inserting the embryos, the doctor might decide to wait until day 5 so that a lab can perform a biopsy to select the best and healthiest embryo. Meg stated that with all these test, not every women will undergo every single one. Their doctor will guide her to where they best see fit, but she did mention that once these procedures are done 85% of couples know why they cannot get pregnant and how to increase their chances.
MaggieWaller13

Con

While I do see how those procedures and tests create a safe environment for the couple to undergo the procedure, they still do not change the fact that IVF only has a 30% success rate and After thoroughly reading A Banjeree"s article "An Insight into the Ethical Issues Related to In Vitro Fertilization" (https://ispub.com...), I found that advances in IVF technology create major ethical dilemmas and greatly enhance the disadvantages of undergoing IVF. Banjeree states that, "the fact that a certain procedure is technologically possible does not make it ethically right". Because of the increasing popularity of this procedure, more and more ethical debates and questions are popping up, and they need to be taken into consideration. First of all, the most obvious ethical issue arises with the fact that IVF is unnatural, and goes against the natural way to reproduce. IVF involves messing with a process that humans should not mess with; it is involving science into something that should be naturally-occurring. Artificially-producing children is unnatural and unethical (and is very similar to cloning). The production of life and the control of life and death are things that are meant to be left to G-d, or a higher power. Humans should not take control of reproduction, for they are not above G-d, and only G-d should control that. IVF, as you can tell, raises many ethical issues in regard to religion. Also, when it comes to dealing with embryos produced by IVF for scientific research, utilizing human life simply as a means of research "hampers the dignity of human life". Human life is a very special thing, and it should not be messed with by humans nor abused/taken for granted by science. Another ethical issue that arises through in vitro fertilization is child vs. commodity/possession. If children are reproduced artificially and unnaturally, they are seen as more of objects and possessions, rather than children (this also goes back to the cost of in vitro fertilization and putting a price on human life). There has been research into the effect of IVF on family bonding, and it has been found that, "the IVF process actually results in a "dilution of parenthood". Mental bonding arises from physical, mental, and emotional contact between parent and child, and that connection gets lost when children are reproduced artificially, unnaturally, and outside of the womb. Banjeree, in his article, asked the question, "Would the development of the family and thus the progress of society be weakened by IVF? Have the potential effects of such far-reaching changes in the process of human generation upon children, parents and society been evaluated?" Science is assuming a more predominant role in the creation of human offspring, and is diluting the notion of humans as "procreating beings". There are also ethical issues that arise if too many fertilized eggs are created; what happens to the rest of them? Some couples choose to freeze them, which raises ethical issues in and of itself. Humans are taking control of life and death by controlling the continuation of the process of life through freezing and unfreezing these embryos. If the embryos are in excess, some couples may choose to donate them to research (downplaying the dignity of human life), or some choose to discard them. The discarding of embryos is murder; life starts at fertilization/conception, and the discarding of embryos is killing human life. Which one of your children would you kill? That is a question that couples should not have to face, and is similar in nature to abortion.
Debate Round No. 2
HHolland3434

Pro

I found three articles about the benefits of Genetic Screening of embryos. An article on http://www.pennmedicine.org... explained that in using Preimplantation genetic dianogsis (PGD) doctors can can help determine if the embryos produced during IVF have any type of genetic or chromosomal disorders. This procedure can help the couples make a more knowledgeable decision regarding what they choose to do next with IVF. PGD is recommended to those who have one or both partners has a history of heritable genetic disorders, one or both partners is a carrier of a chromosomal abnormality, the mother is of advanced maternal age, or if the mother has a history of recurrent miscarriages. Another article I read on http://www.advancedfertility.com... brought up an interesting fact about the human eggs, it stated that most human eggs are often abnormal when it comes to their chromosomes. The correlation between the number of eggs with chromosomal abnormalities and increasing female age is positive. This is why it is important that women undergo PGD because in testing the chromosomes of their embryos, the ones with abnormal chromosomes can be discarded. The last article I found on http://rba-online.com... talked about what PGD has done for women in IVF and how accurate it is. The implementation of PGD has lowered the rate of miscarriages, improved the pregnancy and life birth rates, and increased the IVF success rates all together. Clinical misdiagnosis of the embryos is believed to occur in a small amount of 5-10% of embryos. Genetic conditions that result from abnormalities in embryos can interfere with embryo implantation, result in pregnancy loss, or even result in the birth of a child with physical or cognitive abnormalities. To prevent this, PGD can identify embryos that have genetic abnormalities and improve the chances of pregnancy happening as well as increase the chances that those pregnancies are ones that will have a healthy and unaffected baby.
MaggieWaller13

Con

Continuing on with the ethical issues surrounding IVF, one of the main concerns is the issue of excess embryos (and how to deal with them). The article "Things to Consider" (http://invitrofertilization.weebly.com...) talks about the fact that, many times, not all the fertilized eggs are being used, and that some people believe that this is a waste of human life. Why should some people be able to choose whether or not to continue with human life, while others do not have the opportunity to have that control? Why should some people get the chance to choose life or death, while others that suffer from certain diseases or circumstances have to face death straight in the face? Human life is a gift and something that should not be tampered with, and the fact that certain people take control of human life (and even destroy it) is unethical. The issue of multiple births also arises; many times, the fertilized eggs can all survive, which results in multiple births. The couple may not want that, which then raises the question of "where do the excess embryos go?" Killing embryos is the murder of human life, which is unethical. If the embryos are donated to research, that lessens the dignity and creation of human life (https://ispub.com...). The excess embryos are either frozen, destroyed, or sold to other infertile couples (https://ispub.com...). Freezing the embryos is stopping life from progressing into a full child, destroying the embryos is destroying life (and killing a child), and selling the embryos is putting a price on the child, putting a price on human life. Each of those things constitute as unethical. Freezing the embryos also raises concerns of their safety, the exponential accumulation of frozen embryos in freezers (and how space is running out), and concern that "the length of time embryos are kept in storage might have a detrimental effect on the outcome of frozen embryo transfer and possible increase in fetal abnormalities" (https://ispub.com...).
Debate Round No. 3
HHolland3434

Pro

In an article I read by Laura Beil on http://www.parenting.com... she included many options to help with excess embryos and how you can go about handling them. The first option is donating them to other couples that are dealing with infertility. Bill Petok, Ph.D., a Baltimore psychologist who specializes in counseling infertile couples said in the article that, "On the face of it, it's one of the most beautiful, altruistic things in the world." Helping others conceive a child can be the most rewarding and fulfilling thing that a couple with excess embryos can do. The couple, however, could also donate those embryos to medical research. A mother, Stephanie Smith, donated her embryos for medical research as a gesture of gratitude because she wanted to give back to the system that helped give her and her husband their dream of a family. Donating to research, for many couples, is a middle ground. Dr. Lyerly stated "Although the embryos will not survive, giving to science can be a very caring act. Couples who donate to research, feel like they were helped by science and they want to give back." Some couples can have their embryos pass on naturally and some perform a ceremony of some sort of thawing in order for them to show their reverence. With processes to conserve those embryos, couples can postpone their decisions regarding the excess embryos if they wish. Lastly, another option is the promise of stem cell research. In the article, it stated that recently President Barack Obama has lifted the restrictions on federal funding for Stem Cell Research so now embryos can be donated for this research. This research will be used in treating conditions such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, spinal-cord injuries, and others that involve the death of brain cells and other nerve tissue. A mother from Philadelphia concluded that, "The reason this kind of donation is so appealing is that it doesn't just end with the embryos. The cells have a good chance of being used for years and years."
MaggieWaller13

Con

Going more in depth with the problem of multiple births in relation to in vitro fertilization, many problems arise that are not worth the hassle and risk of IVF. From the article "Pros and Cons of In Vitro Fertilization: Costs, Success Rate, Multiple Births, Egg Storage" (http://www.mamashealth.com...), I found that with IVF there is approximately a 25% chance of conceiving twins and a 2-3% chance of conceiving triplets. The negative aspect of multiple births is that there is an increased risk that the babies will have birth defects. Another article I found, "An Insight into the Ethical Issues Related to In Vitro Fertilization" (https://ispub.com...), stated that, "compared with couples who conceive spontaneously, for those who require IVF, the lottery is weighted more heavily against a successful outcome at every stage of the process, not just conception". I also found that "infants conceived following in vitro fertilization (IVF) are more likely to be born preterm, of low birth weight, and to be a twin or higher order multiple than spontaneously conceived infants" (https://ispub.com...). There has also been observation of an "increase in chromosomal abnormality in IVF babies due to technical inadequacy". Multiple births also takes a toll on the mother, and she is more likely to suffer from nausea, severe abdominal pain, and internal bleeding of the stomach. It can also take a toll on the mother"s body during the actual birth. Multiple births is an issue regarding IVF that needs to be seriously taken into consideration.
Debate Round No. 4
HHolland3434

Pro

Right now, according to an article I read on http://www.oneatatime.org.uk... after the use of IVF and ICSI around 24% of pregnancies are multiple births, compared to only 1-2% with natural pregnancies. Data from the UK (2005) shows that almost 46% of babies born as a result of IVF to women under 35 (using fresh eggs) are multiple births. As of right now, HEFA has decided that the number of embryos that can be transferred is no more than 2 for women under 40 and no more than 3 for women 40 and over. Most clinics are now using the general procedure of transferring only 1 embryo (single embryo transfer, known as SET). By doing this, it greatly reduces the risk of having multiple births. Clinics will discuss with the couple their options some suggest transferring a single embryo and freezing any remaining ones for future use. Recently research has determined that chances of getting a young, healthy women pregnant does not decrease because the amount of embryos transferred is reduced to one with IVF! Another article I found was on http://www.nytimes.com... and it talked about some procedures that clinics are offering. Some clinics are focusing on transferring fewer embryos and also trying to develop more advanced ways in determining which embryo is the healthiest and has the greatest chance of survival. Dr. Judy E. Stern, director of the human embryology and androgyny lab at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. stated that "We have been getting better at I.V.F. over the years, and as success rates go up, the number we transfer has to go down accordingly, where three embryos used to work and give you mostly singletons, now we transfer two, because we"re making better embryos." For women younger than 35, The American Society of Reproductive Medicine now recommends that they have just one embryo transferred. Selecting that one embryo used to be based off of visual observations of their morphology, however now clinics can use procedures to find undetected chromosomal abnormalities like missing or extra chromosomes like genetic screenings.
Overall, I believe that IVF offers a great opportunity for individuals or couples that are wishing and dying to have a child. With the advancements that our biomedical field is making in today"s age, the risks and issues involving IVF are disappearing and it is becoming more and more of an ideal way to stimulate the fertilization of embryos. In Vitro Fertilization is a scientific advancement that is immensely beneficial to the human population and I believe we should continue its research and development for future use.
MaggieWaller13

Con

The final issue regarding in vitro fertilization is the legal ownership of the eggs, when they appear in excess. When IVF produces more fertilized eggs than the couple wants, some of them choose to freeze them for later usage (or some discard them, donate them to science, or sell them to other infertile couples). In regards to freezing the eggs, many legal issues arise in terms of ownership. After doing some research, I found an article entitled "An Insight into the Ethical Issues Related to In Vitro Fertilization" (https://ispub.com...) that stated since the egg is fertilized, it is both property of the man and woman whose sperm and egg combined to conceive the embryo. As long as the eggs are stored in the freezer, they are the property of both the man and the woman. There is always a possibility that the couple will split up or divorce, and then whose eggs are they and who decides where they go? If there is one parent that wants to destroy the embryos, both need to be in agreement before they can be destroyed. Also, as of right now, there are no federal statutes that constitute the process of distributing/dealing with the eggs, which makes it hard for couples to make a decision on what to do. There may be legal disputes between the man and the woman if they split up, in terms of whose eggs they become. The woman will argue that since it is her egg, they belong to her; the man will argue that there would be no fertilization without his sperm, so they are his. Suing can occur between the man and the woman, and it becomes a taxing and emotional experience for both parties. Issues also arise if a surrogate is involved, because the surrogate at any time can choose to abort the embryos (since they are in her body). This brings up disputes between the mother and father of the embryo and the surrogate mother, since the fate of the children falls in the hands of the surrogate mother. The man and woman are not allowed to sue if she does decide to terminate the pregnancy (https://ispub.com...). These legal disputes that arise are serious problems, and completely outweigh the benefits that come with in vitro fertilization. In conclusion, although IVF does offer infertile couples the ability to have children, the ethical issues, risks, and problems that come out of in vitro fertilization are not worth the benefits. It is not ethical for humans to take control of life and death; to be able to control reproduction with their own hands. We need to leave human life in the hands of nature and G-d (or just a higher power in general).
Debate Round No. 5
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