Debate Rounds (5)
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).
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
ziahpatrick forfeited this round.
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.
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.
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