The Instigator
CooperSiemann11
Pro (for)
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The Contender
J.Guest
Con (against)
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In Vitro Fertilization

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/24/2015 Category: Science
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 493 times Debate No: 74168
Debate Rounds (5)
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CooperSiemann11

Pro

In Vitro Fertilization allows couples who couldn't normally have children to actually have the chance to. This is due to infertility in either the man or woman or in some cases both. Studies show that one in six couples are affected by infertility. In vitro fertilization also has the ability to consistently advance technology and make the procedure work a higher percentage of the time than it already does. This allows the participants of the Ivf procedure to decide what they want to do with the leftover embryos. The choices include saving them for a later time, donating to another person in need, or even choice to donate them to science which will help advance ivf technology. Another benefit of ivf is the use of ivf for animals as well. By using In Vitro Fertilization in animals, there is the potential to rescue the gene pool of endangered animals and animals that cannot reproduce, or at least don't reproduce at a quick enough pace to maintain the species. This allows for the rapid expansion of animal population and can be used for genetic manipulation.
J.Guest

Con

IVF can be quite problematic for couples who have trouble conceiving naturally. In an article on nhs.uk about IVF, it was stated that there is an increased chance of having twins or triplets due to the IVF process. Although to some this doesn't sound too bad, this does have consequences. There is a higher chance of miscarriage and anemia, and will often have to have a C-section as opposed to natural birth. Up to 25% of multiple baby pregnancies cause high blood pressure. Ovarian Hyper-stimulation syndrome is another side effect of IVF, which causes too many eggs to develop in the ovaries due to sensitivity to the drugs. This can be very painful for the woman going through it.
Debate Round No. 1
CooperSiemann11

Pro

During an In Vitro Fertilization procedure the women is given FSH in order to release an egg for fertilization from the ovarian follicles in the ovaries. An article from www.pbs.org on IVF procedures explains that IVF has the ability to prevent birth defects unlike in natural birth. During the IVF procedure after the eggs are surgically removed and placed in the petri dish to fertilize, each embryo is observed microscopically in order to make sure that each embryo is healthy. Any unhealthy embryos that have the potential to be harmful or have diseases/ defects are either destroyed or can also be used for research to further advance IVF technology. By studying fertilization and early embryonic development outside of the womb, scientists can increase probability that IVF works and ease the process as the technology constantly advances. Information that it gained can help to advance medicine in general and also help with prenatal care. Overall the process of IVF can be used to find any birth defects that may occur before it actually happens and also helps to find out why these defects occur in the first place. As the technology advances, IVF procedure should become more available to infertile couples and cost less money. The technology will also help prevent harm to either the child/children or the mother after the procedure. Since 2 to 3 and sometimes 4 embryos are available, the woman can decide what to do with leftover embryos or decide to have multiple birth, knowing that it will be slightly more difficult.
J.Guest

Con

These technological advancements, while slightly improving the system, also raise many ethical issues. Like you have said in your argument, those extra embryos can be destroyed, or worse, used for research purposed for more IVF procedures. What are they doing to these embryos, in relation to their research? in an article on ispub.com, it is said that " if human life initiates at fertilization then ivf is experimentation upon a human being and should follow the norms of that type of research"
This is wrong in many ways, and human beings should not be used as simple test subjects to be killed in laboratories. Also, if we were to continue this principle, then fetuses and or embryos discarded and destroyed would be seen as human as well.
"Report suggests that out of 150 attempts to implant human embryos only 4 actually were successful and only 1 was carried to term. Knowingly and willingly wasting human beings is unethical" This just goes to show that despite the news of technological advancement and accuracy in the IVF procedures, many lives are still lost. 1 out of 150 embryos in the IVF procedure gets the chance to mature as a normal human being would, because of the IVf procedure. Whether or not you view the zygote as a human life with potential or a zygote with potential of human life, the fact remains that it has potential. And when a procedure like this is performed, that potential is stripped away.
Debate Round No. 2
CooperSiemann11

Pro

As I had mentioned in the last argument, IVF has the capabilities of detecting and preventing birth defects and other diseases. By performing the genetic screening of embryos, extra chromosomes can be removed from unhealthy eggs in order to prevent birth defects including down syndrome. An article from www.advancedfertility.com explains that the genetic screening of embryos allows for chromosomal abnormalities to be fixed to the normal amount of 23 pairs of chromosomes. The microscopic observations made after the eggs are fertilized help advance IVF technology and medicine. Also, IVF can be used to assist couples in which the males have low sperm count, allowing for a procedure called intracytoplasmic sperm injection.
As you had also mentioned about ethical issues involving IVF, many believe that the embryo is not living and rather at birth it is considered alive. This shows that innocent humans are not being killed. Development has not even begun when the unhealthy or extra embryos are chosen to be frozen or used for research because they have not yet been inserted into the woman's uterus. To counteract the argument that IVF does not work often, statistics from www.m.webmd.com states that women under the age of 35 that undergoes and has a child due to IVF is 40%. This number drops with age meaning that IVF is more successful the younger the age of the recipient. The percentage of IVF procedures that resulted in live birth is over 22% with over 200,000 births due to IVF since 1981 when the technology was brand new.
As more research is put into IVF the procedure can only improve and make it more cost efficient. Without the genetic screening of embryos, more unhealthy embryos may be implanted which stems into more problems. Also the screening and use for research is a vital part of improving the procedure and advancing the technology for IVF and medicine itself.
J.Guest

Con

Screening embryos for genetic issues does solve the down syndrome and other genetics diseases, but they also raise many ethical issues as did the discard of the extra embryos. Basically, here we have the human attempting to play god, switching up the fate of the embryo or fetus to their own desire, as opposed to letting nature run its course as is intended and natural. At what point in this advancement of IVF do we realize we have gone too far? Also, during that screening and the culturing of the embryos, once the preferred ones have been chosen, what then? Where do the extra embryos of that process go? Are they discarded, destroyed, used as test subject? Do they too have all of their potential stolen away by greedy scientists seeking to control the forces of nature? There are several problems surrounding this particular step. Culturing of these embryos is a death sentence from the start. In the article from advancedfertility.com, it is stated that " if the culture environment is suboptimal, delayed embryo development and even embryonic arrest will occur in some cases". Which describes a flaw in the system, it is not as all efficient as you may suppose. The article confirms with "Therefore, if the culture system and laboratory quality control are inconsistent - good results will not be obtained with extended culture to day 5."
Debate Round No. 3
CooperSiemann11

Pro

I suppose that IVF could be seen as "playing God" by extreme religious disciples and puritanical, though for the average American, or any other human for this matter, IVF is viewed as a way to help unfortunate couples who dreamed of having children, but were cursed with the plague of infertility. The so called "greedy scientists" work endlessly towards improving the IVF procedures and advancing the technology making it easier to perform, cost less, and work at a higher percentage of the time.
Anyway, the situation regarding multiple birth with IVF is very controversial. Although IVF has been known in the past to increase the chance of multiple birth new techniques, procedures and technologies are being performed that have the potential to reduce the risk of multiple birth. Information from www.resolve.org provides different innovative technologies that are used during IVF. One new technology is the Blastocyst Culture and Transfer in which the clinicians grow the embryos in a nutrient rich environment for 5 days rather than 3 which was done before which allows for the healthiest embryos with the highest chance of success to be picked for implantation. The rest can be frozen or the mother may choose to use more embryos to increase the chance of it working. Since multiple birth is closely associated with birth defects and prematurity, reducing this could be beneficial. Or with new procedures, multiple birth can be accomplished with a significantly lower chance of birth defects and a higher chance of success.
Another plus having to do with multiple birth is IVF in animals. Since most animals can give birth to large quantities of offspring, IVF is the perfect choice especially with those animals threatened with endangerment. A large number of zygotes can be made at a relatively low cost which allows for IVF to be used as a way to cultivate food sources and help in poor countries where livestock and other food supplies are limited. Overall, multiple birth can be beneficial and the issues that arise from it can be eliminated or at least reduced with new procedures. If excess embryos are not used, they can be frozen and stored for another time or even donated to another infertile person in need. This also reduces the cost of IVF if it were to be used again.
J.Guest

Con

Okay, so its been said that there are technologies that are supposed to be preventing multiple births, wanted or unwanted in the IVF procedures. In an article on oneatatime.org.uk, it is written that over 20% of all multiple births in the world are from IVF births. "This means that IVF births contribute a disproportionately large number of multiple births to the overall rate." Not very impressive statistics considering the amount of 'technologies' being used to prevent them. it is also written that "At present, about 1 in 4 IVF pregnancies result in multiples: this is around 20 times higher than the rate after natural conception." Evidently the precautions against multiple births from IVF are quite cutting it.
The scenario in which an IVF procedure results in multiple births is due to several different factors as a result of the procedures core steps. In the same article, it says that "The chance of a single embryo dividing and resulting in identical twins is also higher after IVF though it is not yet known why this happens. So it is possible to end up with twins from a single transferred embryo, or triplets from 2 embryos." It is clearly stated that they don't know why this phenomenon even happens, so they cannot possibly be prepared for it as they claim they are.
No matter what they do, there is going to be a high chance of there being a multiple birth, especially with as many eggs as they put in to ensure a baby. "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." Its just the simple facts, and probably cannot be wholly prevented by our IVF experts any time soon according to the data collected.
Debate Round No. 4
CooperSiemann11

Pro

As it was stated the reasoning for the increased amount of multiple births regarding IVF is because multiple embryos ( up to 4) are implanted to ensure that the woman becomes pregnant and increase chance that they will give birth. Worldwide IVF is responsible for over 5 million child births with more than half of that number coming from the last 6 years. This statistic shows that IVF has already become slightly more prominent and available to people.
The procedures for IVF from information provided by www.shadygrovefertility.com are

Step 1: Initial IVF consultation and preparing the ovaries for stimulation. This allows for the doctor's to do a Mock Embryo Transfer to prepare for when the fertilized eggs will be implanted. Many women choose to take birth control pills for a certain number of days which decreases the chance of creating cysts during the cycle. It also synchronizes the egg follicles so that they are all on the same stage and allows for the woman to control the timing of the cycle

Step 2: This step includes the ovarian stimulation and monitoring. In this step, FSH and LH hormones are injected for 8 to 14 days to stimulate the ovaries and produce eggs. Also during the stimulation phase, the doctor's often take bloodwork and a transvaginal ultrasound.

Step 3: The next step ends the stimulation phase with a trigger shot. This allows for the final maturation of the developing follicles and starts ovulation. Timing is the most important, so factors such as the size of the follicles and the levels of estrogen decide when the woman receives the trigger shot. Approximately 3 days after the trigger shot, the egg retrieval occurs and usually the day of the retrieval the sperm from the partner is collected. There is also the possibility of using a sperm donor if the couple is incapable for whatever reason.

Step 4: In this step the egg is fertilized in a petri dish containing the partner's sperm and early embryonic development occurs. The egg can be fertilized two ways. There is the conventional form of fertilization or Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) which is used when the quality/ quantity of sperm is poor. After the eggs are fertilized the embryos begin to develop for the next 5 to 6 days. Microscopic observations are made and any unhealthy embryos are destroyed and used in research.

Step 5: This step is the embryo transfer which takes only 5 to 10 minutes. The most common is eSET or elective Single Embryo Transfer. Extra embryos can be frozen and stored for future use, donated to others, or also can be chosen to be donated for research in IVF technology. Since 2 or 3 and even up to 4 embryos may be healthy, the woman can decide if she wants to implant multiple or not.

Step 6: In this final step, all that there is left to do is take a pregnancy test. This usually occurs 18 days after the egg retrieval. It is different from a regular pregnancy test; in this test, blood is drawn and the hCG level is measured. Over 100 is considered positive. To be sure this is repeated 2 to 3 times.
J.Guest

Con

Aside from the ethical issues with IVF, and the whole affair with having multiple birth and problems associated with it, there are legal debates as well. These legal issues stem off of several different questions, but the main argument is over ownership, whose baby is it really? well, according to an article on haveababy.com, it states that "The "Uniform Parentage Act" which has been adopted by most states in the United States declares that the woman who gives birth to the child will be regarded as the rightful mother." So, no matter who the egg or sperm are gotten from, whoever has the baby is declared the 'mother' of that baby, with all the implications that go with that title as well.
That's just one side of it, say there's a husband and wife who undergo this procedure, and afterwards get divorced. Whose eggs are they now? This happens often with celebrities, when they break up, the person who makes less money will fight for custody, because then that baby makes them money from the other parent. IVF is just causing issues in that regard. The argument is that, if the man is fighting for it, that embryo has his property in it as well. he gave sperm to fertilize that egg, it is as much his as hers. Well, the woman will argue that he doesn't have to give birth, which is correct, but neither does she. the beauty of IVF is that any woman can technically have that baby, it just has to be inserted in his new wife.
Really, there are just too many issues with the IVF procedure. It is not yet accurate enough to be advertised as it is, nor is it near efficient enough to be justified. Once the cost, and the legal issues are considered, one must ask, is it really worth it?
Debate Round No. 5
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