The Instigator
ziahpatrick
Pro (for)
Tied
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The Contender
Amostarlic
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

IVF Debate

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/10/2016 Category: Health
Updated: 6 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 301 times Debate No: 91046
Debate Rounds (5)
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Votes (0)

 

ziahpatrick

Pro

IVF is able to help those unable to conceive such as older people, women with blocked fallopian tubes, infertile males, and same-sex couples (createhealth.org). It has been used for a long time so it is reliable and can be used to screen for inherited disease. In some cases of unexplained infertility, there could be a problem with fertilisation. Cases such as these may not be diagnosed until fertilisation is done in the laboratory.

Unused embryos can be donated to research or another couple. If you have embryos to spare, these can be used to help other people and even save lives. With the permission of the biological parents, unused embryos can be donated for research purposes, or to another couple to enable them to have a child.

IVF can be used to screen for inherited disease. For individuals who are carriers of genetic disorders such as cystic fibrosis, Huntington"s disease and muscular dystrophy, IVF with pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is a reliable way to ensure that a child conceived will not suffer from the disorder. It can improve the chances of a successful cycle, as it screens embryos for chromosomal disorders such as Down"s syndrome (n some cases of unexplained infertility, there could be a problem with fertilisation. Cases such as these may not be diagnosed until fertilisation is attempted in the laboratory. Although this would be a disappointing outcome, it is useful to be able to uncover such problems so that solutions can be reached for future treatment with ICSI (Createhealth.org).
Amostarlic

Con

Although many couples believe that in vitro fertilization is the best and safest option to start a family, however many studies have proven that IVF tends be quite the opposite. For starters, according to "In Vitro Fertilization" by Laurence A. Jacobs, MD, the actual cost of IVF is normally around $12,000 per cycle, and that doesn't even include the additional treatments such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Yet it isn't just the base price that could negatively affect the couple, nor the fact that the success rate is only 15-20% per cycle (thanks to studies found by Univfy), no it's also the immense amount of stress it brings to the two during the IVF process.
As most couples handled miscarriages before the IVF process, it comes to the shock of many that IVF actually has a higher miscarriage rate, leading to more failed attempts which takes an emotional toll on everyone involved. In vitro fertilization may seen like the right answer to couples but many are unaware of how costly and stressful the whole process can be especially with the high possibility of having to repeatedly go through cycle after cycle of it.
Debate Round No. 1
ziahpatrick

Pro

Although the cost is high, is there really a limit as to how much a human life is worth? Many patients think that an excellent IVF success rate is 80% or above, and that anything below 50% is poor. Did you know that even a young and fertile couple has just a 15-20% chance to conceive naturally in any one month (resolve.org)? Women with top chances of IVF success have per-cycle success rates of 40% or higher, while the majority of women have per-cycle success rates of 20-35%. Having this perspective helps patients think about trying more than one cycle, and feel less discouraged if the first one doesn"t work. IVF has a higher chance of conceiving in one month than a natural couple does.

The families are usually debriefed by doctors regarding the price and process of IVF so they are well aware of what they are getting into. To decrease their stress, IVF clinics have made contact between other IVF patients available for them to reach out to each other and share their experiences and guide each other through this process so they are emotionally okay.

After fertilization has occurred, the laboratory technicians will select the healthiest embryos for implantation into the mother's uterus (fertilityinstitute.org). For couples who are concerned about passing on genetic disorders or chromosomal abnormalities to their children, IVF allows for pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). PGD tests the health of the fertilized embryo by sequencing the DNA to determine if an abnormal gene is present. This is well worth the massive amount of money spent on IVF and eases the parents fears of their baby inheriting their illnesses. Although IVF may have some cons it has many more positive attributes that give a great opportunity to loving parents.
Amostarlic

Con

Yet what about the new IVF Medical techniques that have made medical professional began questioning the rightfulness of the process? Many medical professionals are aware of the increase of new in vitro fertilization techniques, and one such is Dr. Michael Glassner who even commented that "the concept of a designer child is not what most doctors are interested in being part of."
Designer babies, children born through the IVF process only so the couple can pick and choose their appearance, are one of the biggest ethical concerns revolving of the increase of IVF techniques. In 1996 a couple by the name of Monique and Scott Collins decided to perform IVF to obtain a baby for their family. There was a catch to this as the Collins were not infertile and already had two boys. This means they were not performing IVF for the sake of trying to obtain a child, but for another reason that was seen highly unethical, the couple wished to have a girl to balance out their family situation. It should be noted that prior to the this in 1994 the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs released a statement that supported the use of "genetic selection as a means to prevent, cure or specific diseases, but that selection based on benign characteristics was not ethical." This means that even with this knowledge this couple still decided to proceed further and so did the so called professional medical team that agreed upon their request. So will the future of IVF techniques be actually used to cure more diseases in children or will it be a way for wealthy families to pick and choose what their child will look rather then natural birthing?
Debate Round No. 2
ziahpatrick

Pro

While that is a misuse of IVF, if we were to implement laws and regulations banning this gross misuse of the procedure, we would still be able to use IVF for its true purpose which is to help those who cannot conceive by themselves have children and enjoy the bliss that is parenthood. Bioethicists have argued that parents have a right to prenatal autonomy, which grants them the right to decide the fate of their children. George Annas, chair of the Department of Health Law, Bioethics, and Human Rights at Harvard University has offered support for the idea of PGD, and the designer babies that result, as a consumer product that should be open to the forces of market regulation (embryos.edu). Additionally, other arguments in favor of designer baby technologies suggest that parents already have a high degree of control over the outcome of their children"s lives in the form of environmental choices, and that this should eliminate some of the ethical concerns facing genetic selection. For example, parents set on establishing musical appreciation in their children may sign them up for music classes or take them to concerts on a regular basis; these choices affect the way a child matures, like the decision to select certain genes predisposes a child to develop in ways that the parents have predetermined are desirable.

The increased ability to control and manipulate embryos presents many possibilities for improving the health of children through prenatal diagnosis is vital to allowing parents to conceive healthy babies. It increases reproductive success rates of women over 38, screens for inherited genetic diseases that may not be detected earlier on because parents are unaware carriers, and helps those with recurrent miscarriages have successful pregnancies. While IVF can be misused and have some negative aspects, the positive aspects far outweigh them if IVF is used properly.
Amostarlic

Con

I agree with your statement that regulating IVF can help those who cannot conceive however the statement that many support the idea of designer babies doesn't dive deep enough into how complicated the actual process of giving desired genes are, Professor Sheldon Krimsky of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at Tufts University School of Medicine explained that genetic enhancement in the embryos would make no sense from a biological and developmental perspective. He commented that human traits are more complex and not only involves dozens if not hundred of genes, but are the result of a complex mix of determinants, including outside facts such as social and environmental factors, gene-to-gene interactions, and epigenetic switches that are outside the reductive chemical factors of the DNA code. One example he used was that height, an heritable trait has at least 50 genes that can account for 2 to 3 percent of the variance in the samples. In all honesty traits like these can easily be solved by couples realizing their heritable background, rather then going through the unnecessarily complicated process of pushing eugenic ideology that human perfection can be directed by genetics. Also with the example of parents who wish for a musically appreciated child push their child into classes is more of a parent trying to push their child in a certain direction rather then forcing their genes to be wired in a certain way, which is exactly the issue of IVF designer babies.

I agree that IVF has made birthing for many women in their later ages much easier, however this brings up another issue with the birthing process in IVF. In vitro fertilization the pregnancy goes on by a cycle process and each cycle has new embryos implanted. Typically not all embryos live so medical professionals assert more than one to increase the chances of a successful pregnancy but this also has the possibility to backfire on the mother. One such issue is the possibility of having more than one successful embryo live. Multiple-births are most common in IVF as multiple embryos are placed into the parent. Not only are these multiple births rather unexpected by couples, but they also are considered the main source of most of the health issues caused by IVF. "Twin, triplets, and other multiple-birth children are at much higher risk of premature or low birth weight then are singleton children. And premature birth and low birth weight are linked to a host or health risks." (WebMD) However these premature birth and low birth weight aren't the only risks that can happen, there is also an increased risk of both early and late miscarriages, and the mother has an increased chance of getting hypertension, Preeclampsia, Gestational diabetes, delivery problems and subsequent fertility issue. (Fertility.treatmenabroad.com) Many doctors try to solve this issue by enlisting the idea of only one embryo per cycle, however with such a low success rate and with cycles being so expensive many couples aren't assure this is a positive solution.
Debate Round No. 3
ziahpatrick

Pro

ziahpatrick forfeited this round.
Amostarlic

Con

However that's not the only issue with multiple embryos as after the process is all said and done, many wonder what happens to the unused embryos. Embryos tend to be stored in liquid nitrogen, this way they stay frozen and have the possibility of being used in a later date, but most couples find it difficult to think of the future of those embryos. Aanis Elspas, a mother of four, is one of these IVF parents and now she and her husband have to live through the agonizing pain of wondering what's the morally right decision to make. (motherjones.com). She has many options, to give the embryos away to another couple and realize her biological children will be raised by a different family, donate them to scientific research, or to destroy them. These are possibilities many parents after IVF are forced to face, and none of them are comforting. Elspas comments "[She doesn't have the heart to thaw them," (Motherjones.com) meaning she and many other parents are more willing to leave these embryos be destroyed mostly out of a moral standpoint. Yet this is a growing issue as well, in 2002 the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology decided to see how many unused embryos had accumulated in the nation's 430 fertility clinics. They were shocked to see that the number had been twice as large as previously estimated, at 400,000 frozen embryos that have existed with no work done to them.
Debate Round No. 4
ziahpatrick

Pro

Returning back to your response in round 3 abut the situation with the parents trying to get the child to be musically appreciative, these parents can actually shape their child's brain around music because children unconsciously absorb a ton of information around them in order to learn along with flexibility which plays an incredibly important role in our brain development (or decline) and in shaping our distinct personalities. So if a child is exposed to music younger then the parent could "wire" their brain a certain way.

Couples with infertility often express a desire for delivering twins instead of a single child. They say; "we want kids, and all this treatment is expensive and unpleasant, so let's just have 2 kids and get it over with". When they are fully aware of the risks to the children if delivery is premature, some couples no longer prefer a multiple pregnancy. However, after full disclosure of the risks, many couples still hope for twins. Of course, they are also hoping that their children will be perfectly healthy. The psychological, social, and economic stresses involved with caring for twins is substantial, but patients often say they would welcome facing those stresses if they were so blessed.

A study by the Regional Fertility Program in Calgary, for example, analyzed 1304 embryo transfers, from patients younger than 37 who were not using egg donors (choicemoms.org). If two blastocysts of a grade below 3BB were transferred, the pregnancy rate was 66 percent with a 25 percent chance of twins. The team determined that single embryo transfers in the study achieved equivalent pregnancy rates while significantly reducing the multiple pregnancy rate. Thus, it was recommended that one blastocyst with a grade of 3BB or better produces an acceptable pregnancy rate. If patients who did not want multiple births did this treatment then their needs would be met.

Responding to Round 4, the issue with unused embryos brings up the question, "When does life start"? An embryo without a uterus lining technically has no chance of life and is not alive. Couples also have several options: one is to donate the eggs to medical research, donate the eggs to another infertile couple, thaw the eggs, freeze them forever or just for a little while. These parents knew the risks associated with IVF and now they must deal with them. IVF is a miracle procedure that provides beautiful, healthy children to those who cannot have them by themselves and it also helps ill parents create a child that won't inherit their diseases.
Amostarlic

Con

Coming back to the musical situation I understand you're referencing the fact most development starts in the early stages of life, and therefore it would be easier for a child to adsorb a wide range of information. This however does not compare to drastically changing the genetic coding, the DNA, of a child in hopes that they would be 'appealing' to the family's desire. And to bring it up, would the parent love their child any if they had no desire to be invested in music? This is the issue with designer babies, the concept they're more love-able if they have these features the parents want.

And with your follow up on twins more desired, this actually brings up a very important issue that multiple pregnancy can still lead to higher health threats to the mother or babies, as the more babies during pregnancy leads to higher chances of miscarriages that leads a family to go through the struggle of not just losing one but many even more babies. And even if couples take certain cautions to increase chance of success this doesn't resolve the issue seen with how 40-60% of IVF twins need to be transferred to neonatal care units after their birth, by comparison, only 20% of singleton IVF babies need the same level of care. And even further the risk of death around the time of birth is three to six times higher for twins and nine time higher for triplets. According to a study in 2003 it's estimated that if all IVF babies born in the UK had been singletons, the deaths of 126 babies could have been avoided Just as how Director of Multiple Births Foundation Ms Jane Denton states it, "the aim of all infertility treatment should be to have one live, healthy baby."

The worrying health issues around couples and babies that undergo IVF are still a common problem, and it should be noted that it isn't just premature birth or breathing issues, but birth defects have become more common then in naturally conceived babies. Australian and US studies have shown that IVF babies have twice the risk of having major birth defects compared to natural conceived babies. Yet even further in IVF we have to question the ethical rights of IVF technology advancing, although advances in IVF were first used to prevent serious disorders in IVF babies many couples are starting to only use it for the more trivial aspect of having their own designer baby, something that goes against the idea that every human born into this world is equal and also causing questioning in those parents as a parent should love and accept their child for who they are, instead of defying this principle by trying to enhance certain traits of them to make them, their child, 'better'. IVF is a process that may have had a purpose in the beginning, but the drastic changes from supporting couple to obtain their own breathing child to one where couples feel a need to pick and choose what their child will be reflects on the negative aspect of this process. IVF had potential, the further pushes that have made it bend and form to the population that wishes to play God with their child has ruined it to something much more dangerous.
Debate Round No. 5
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