In Vitro Fertilization
Debate Rounds (5)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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