The news about octuplet mom Nadya Suleman raises serious concerns about medical ethics, profit motive, regulation, and oversight in the fertility industry. According to the CDC, 80 percent of U.S. fertility clinics don’t follow the embryo implant guidelines established in 1999 by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, and it turns out that the entire industry is self regulated.
“Assisted reproduction is a multibillion-dollar business. Like other commercial enterprises, it needs rules.” – Marcy Darnovsky, of the Center for Genetics and Society in Oakland.
Fertility clinics are now advertising the availability to screen for gender, eye color, hair color and complexion through the use of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). The current use of PGD for gender selection is prohibited in over 35 countries, but evidently the money flowing into fertility clinics keeps the practice in demand in the US.
“The industry sees this not just as inevitable, but incredibly lucrative.” – Art Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania
California State Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod is seeking more oversight with her bill SB 674, a measure that establishes accreditation standards and guidelines for the operation of fertility clinics and cosmetic surgery centers.
“It is alarming that the State of California has no one watching out for patients who go to these fertility clinics or surgical centers. There should be a greater level of scrutiny over these clinics because of their increasing popularity.” – McLeod
The bill puts fertility clinics under the jurisdiction of the Medical Board of California and their approved accrediting agencies.
“Patients have the right to know if their physician has even been trained or board certified in the specialty he or she is attempting to perform.” – McLeod
I find it unbelievable that these clinics are not regulated at all right now. How is it possible that this has become such a big business without any sort of regulation other than ‘voluntary’ guidelines?
Image: cesarastudillo at Flickr under CC license
I don’t believe fertility clinics need to be regulated. What ever happened to a woman’s freedom of choice to do with her body what she wants? Doesn’t it go both ways – both when she decides to have a baby (or babies) and when she doesn’t?
Suleman *chose* to have 8 embryos implanted. She knew the implications of the choice. She chose to continue the pregnancy once she knew how many she was having. We don’t have to agree with her choice but we certainly have no right to regulate it.
when we are put into the position of paying for her choices . then yes we do have a right to limit how much tax payer money goes to support a slug like this .
ANONYMOUS, YES I AGREE A WOMAN HAS THE RIGHT TO DO WITH HER BODY AS SHE PLEASES. BUT WHEN DOCTORS IMPLANT WOMEN LIKE NADYA, WHO DOES NOT HAVE A JOB AND LIVES OFF THE SYSTEM. WHEN SHE HAD THOSE 8 BABIES DID YOU THINK THE WOMAN WAS GOING PAY TO TAKE CARE OF THEM HERSELF..NO ITS GOING BE YOU AND I AND OTHER HARD WORKING AMERICANS ARE GOING PAY FOR HER FOOD STAMPS AND WELFARE..YES THESE DOCTORS NEED TO SCREEN BEFORE IMPLANTING BABIES INTO JUST ANY WOMAN. WOMEN CAN GET PREGNANT ON THEIR OWN AND THATS THEIR CHOICE BUT WHEN WE HELP WOMEN LIKE NADYA TO GET PREGNANT, THEN THE WALFARE OF THOSE BABIES IS IN OUR HANDS..PEOPLE LIKE NADYA SHOULD BE TOLD NO..SHOULD BE TOLD TAKE CARE OF THE ONES YOU HAVE AND GET A JOB…
Crimson Wife says
Well, we DON’T have unlimited freedom over what we do with our bodies in the U.S. I can’t legally smoke a joint even if I wanted to do so for medical reasons in most jurisdictions. A man cannot legally force himself sexually upon an unwilling partner, even if he is married to her (darn good thing too, I might add).
I personally believe that the law should only allow the creation of no more than 3 embryos at a time (the excess eggs can be frozen for later attempts) and only as many as will be implanted in that specific cycle. And if 3 are implanted, the mom would have to promise not to have a selective abortion in the event of triplets. If she’s not willing to carry 3 babies to term, then she needs to be implanted with only 1 or 2.
It’s a uterus, not a clown car. It’s not just an issue of wealth, it’s an issue of health. Unscrupulous practices such as this place people at greater risk for a number of health problems, not just during a pregnancy, but afterward, as well.
There are too many people on this earth. Ruining it at a faster rate than borer beetle eats a wooden house.
How stupid do you have to be to have even ONE child under these environmentally stressed conditions?
Well, multiply that by 14x. NS is therefore 14 times stupider than the average non-breeder and 14 times less considerate than the average non-breeder is – of this beautiful world we are exploiting at an enormous rate of knots…
Humans are the worst, most destructive plague the earth has ever encountered – and they KEEP BREEDING. Duh!
And they call themselves intelligent. It is too funny to even laugh.
Watcher, are you not human? How did you get here? You are pathetic! Babies are a gift from God, but when they are implanted, we are playing God. Nadya Suleman was on welfare, she should not have done this at all, especially having 6 children already! Though she did what she had planned, she has exploited those children to no end, now she has made millions, thanks to having octuplets! Of course she isn’t going to apologize for having 8 children at one time, they are here claim to fame!