Artificial Conception

Technological Conception / IVF / Genetic Engineering / NaPro Technology (9/09)

As IVF Debate Rages in Poland, Doctors Propose Ethical, Natural, More Effective Alternative Fertility Clinics in California, Louisiana Face Lawsuits Over Destroying Embryos Genetic Engineering: U.S. Company Now Offers "Look-Alike" Celebrity Sperm…     As IVF Debate Rages in Poland, Doctors Propose Ethical, Natural, More Effective Alternative As the debate over in vitro fertilization (IVF) rages in the Polish parliament, hundreds of doctors and medical professionals have written an open letter to Polish Parliamentarians urging them to vote against legalizing IVF and opt instead for a more successful, safer, natural treatment for fertility problems.  Although IVF is not officially legal in Poland, it has nonetheless been practiced for years in the nation.  Several Parliamentary proposals have been brought forward to legalize the practice under the guise of regulating the already occurring procedures.  The proposals range from taxpayer funding for all IVF treatments without restriction, including for lesbians, and another that would ban creation of human embryos outside the mother's body. Parliamentarians have ignored a grassroots initiative proposing a complete ban on IVF signed by 160,000 citizens. The open letter from medical professionals was published in the major daily paper Rzeczpospolita.  It followed on the heels of a conference on the most advanced natural techniques to combat infertility known as NaProTechnology that was held two weeks ago in Poland and attended by hundreds of doctors and medical professionals. In the letter, doctors urge parliamentarians to vote against IVF, and to consider NaProTechnology, which they describe as "a diagnostic-therapeutical method," which "constitutes a cheap, realistic, healthy and wholly ethical alternative to artificial reproduction." The letter marks the first in Poland from...

Germline Genetic Engineering: Three Parent Reproductive Technology (update 4/2014), 3/09

Ethicists Warn Against Three-Parent Reproductive Technology Concerned about the effects of a new technology that involves three parents providing genetic information to create a child, experts are cautioning against opening up the technology to human clinical trials. "The desire to help women suffering from mitochondrial disorders or infertility is admirable and worthy," wrote Robert George, McCormick professor of jurisprudence at Princeton,* and Dr. Donald Landry, chair of the Department of Medicine at New York Presbyterian Hospital in a Feb. 18 letter to the Food and Drug Administration. "However, the needs of the children being created through novel technologies also must be taken into account,” they warned. The technology, referred to by the FDA as  "oocyte modification in assisted reproduction,” was developed to avoid mitochondrial disorders, and ultimately means that the child created by the process will inherit genetic information from three parents. In oocyte modification, the DNA from a mother – who has a defect in her mitochondrial DNA — and a father is inserted into an egg from a second woman, who has healthy mitochondrial DNA. The letters to the FDA were sent in advance of hearings  to be held by the department Feb. 25 and 26 over the possibility that this technology would be expanded to  human clinical trials In a Feb. 18 letter, the  Center for Genetics and Society said that human trials of the procedure "should not be permitted because of the profound safety, efficacy, policy and social problems they would pose." "We question the ethics of bringing children into existence by experimental techniques that have had developmentally poor outcomes in studies using both animal...

Mothers Sue Over Tests to Determine Baby's Gender (6/09)

  Six New York City mothers are suing the maker of a baby sex test that touted its product as "infallibly accurate," saying the test results they received were wrong. In papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, the women claim they received incorrect results from the $275 Baby Gender Mentor test by Acu-Gen Biolab Inc., of Lowell, Mass. The suit says the test maker advertised its product as the "gold standard for prenatal gender detection." [http://cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=49608, CNS News; ALL Pro-Life Today,...

IVF Babies in Health Alert (HR, 2/09)

IVF Babies in Health Alert: Test-Tube Children 30 Percent More Likely to Have Defects, Warns Watchdog Couples having IVF treatment are to be warned for the first time that their children have a higher risk of genetic flaws and health problems. Official guidance will make clear that test-tube babies could be up to 30 per cent more likely to suffer from certain birth defects. The alert has been ordered by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, the Government's watchdog on fertility issues. Couples are being warned an IVF pregnancy increases the risk of birth defects by up to 30 per cent It means that the one in six British couples estimated to be infertile will have to balance their desire for a child against concerns that IVF methods could lead to life-threatening defects or long-term disabilities. A number of studies have already raised concerns over the growing use of the procedure, which accounts for more than 10,000 births in Britain every year. Research published online last month in the Human Reproduction journal found that IVF babies suffer from higher rates of birth defects than those conceived naturally. The scientists from the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta looked at more than 13,500 births and a further 5,000 control cases using data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. They found that IVF babies suffer from a range of conditions, including heart valve defects, cleft lip and palate, and digestive system abnormalities due to the bowel or oesophagus failing to form properly. In addition, IVF babies have a small but increased risk of rare genetic disorders including...

Editorial: In Vitro Industry Out Of Control (2/09)

 In January, a California woman named Nadya Suleman gave birth to octuplets through in vitro fertilization. These eight babies were added to six others that Suleman had also conceived through in vitro procedures. Nadya Suleman is an extreme example of a growing trend. The reproductive-technology industry is booming, with over 130,000 procedures and 50,000 births a year, up from around 65,000 procedures and just below 20,000 births a little over a decade ago. Almost 90 percent of in vitro procedures involve transferring more than one embryo; nearly a third of in vitro live births involve multiple children; 2 percent of them involve triplets or more. And these multiple births often come with health consequences such as the need for long-term care due to low birth weights and various disabilities. Sometimes these long-term expenses are paid by the taxpayer. Demand for in vitro and other reproductive technologies is driven from a number of directions. Infertility rates among couples seeking children now stand at over 10%, due to social and environmental factors. Single and divorced women, and some men, also have turned to the industry in search of the children they cannot have any other way. The breakdown of marriage has produced more and more people in such situations. The reproductive-technology industry is almost entirely unregulated. Professional standards for the industry are primarily framed as guidelines and not enforced by law.  For example, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine established a guideline, not a rule, that doctors should transfer no more than two embryos for women under 35, and no more than five (!) for women over that age. But this...

Women & Men More Frequently Trying to Sell Eggs and Sperm Due to Poor Economy (1/09)

A new report indicates men and women are more likely to try to sell their eggs and sperm to fertility clinics these days due to the poor economy. A report from the Northeast Assisted Fertility Group finds the number of people filling out applications to make money from the sales is on the rise. The report indicates the number of women donating their eggs has doubled in recent weeks and, at the Boston-area egg-donor agency Prospective Families, it has jumped about 30 percent since September. “We're seeing more donor applications because people are looking at more creative ways to get money,” attorney Sanford Benardo of NAFG, told the Boston Herald newspaper. The number of men donating sperm grew by 15 percent in the last year according to California Cryobank, with offices in the Boston area and California. The women involved in the painful egg extraction procedure can make as much as $10,000 from the sale. Although most people are denied their applications for the sales, those who are successful find another, albeit unorthodox, means of generating family or personal income. Bernardo said most women would not be able to make money from selling their eggs because the screening process eliminates all but a handful of candidates — and not all women choose to go through with the process because of medical or pain-related reasons. “The take-away message is it’s not a fast and easy route to $10,000,” Bernardo told the newspaper. Amy Demma, the president and founder of Prospective Families, says of the 300 new applications in recent months, 263 were declined. Another 5 percent of those who are...

Assisted Reproductive Technology and Trends in Low Birthweight — Massachusetts, 1997–2004 (1/09)

Low birthweight (LBW) (<2,500 g) is an important cause of infant morbidity and mortality (1). The rate of LBW has been steadily increasing in the United States. In 2005, the most recent year for which data are available, LBW represented 8.2% of all births, the highest level reported in the past 4 decades (2). The use of assisted reproductive technology (ART)* has been associated with LBW (3,4). Research in 1999 indicated that, in Massachusetts during 1989–1996, the rate of LBW increased, paralleling the national trend, and an increasing percentage of LBW infants were born to mothers aged >35 years and to mothers with more education.† These findings suggested that a proportion of LBW births might be attributable to infertility treatment; however, at that time, no information was available from birth certificate records to examine whether ART was associated with the increasing rates of LBW. To investigate the role of ART, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) and CDC linked birth certificate records to ART records for the years 1997–2004 (the most recent data available). This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicated that, on average, 2% of births during the period resulted from ART; however, 7% of LBW births resulted from ART. The rate of LBW increased during this period among non-ART singletons (from 4.8% to 5.1%), accounting for an additional 407 LBW infants, and among ART singletons (from 6.4% to 8.2%), accounting for an additional 59 LBW infants. Although ART contributes disproportionately to LBW, only a small percentage of the excess LBW births in Massachusetts are explained by ART; therefore, other causes for the increase...

Major CDC Study Finds Two to Four Times More Birth Defects from In Vitro Fertilizations (11/08)

MAJOR CDC STUDY FINDS 2 TO 4 TIMES MORE BIRTH DEFECTS FROM IVF. Infants conceived with Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) are two to four times more likely to have certain types of birth defects than children conceived naturally, according to a study by the CDC. The report, "Assisted Reproductive Technology and Major Structural Birth Defects, United States," was released in the journal Human Reproduction.   "Today, more than 1 percent of infants are conceived through ART and this number may continue to increase," says Jennita Reefhuis, Ph.D., epidemiologist at CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.   The study shows that among pregnancies resulting in a single birth, ART (which includes all fertility treatments in which both eggs and sperm are handled, such as in vitro fertilization) was associated with twice the risk of some types of heart defects, more than twice the risk of cleft lip with or without cleft palate and over four times the risk of certain gastrointestinal defects compared with babies conceived without fertility treatments.   In the United States, cleft lip with or without palate affects approximately 1 in every 950 births; doubling the risk among infants conceived by ART would result in approximately 1 in every 425 infants being affected by cleft lip with or without cleft palate.   The study examined multiple births separately from single births because ART increases the chance of a multiple birth. Children born as part of a multiple birth are more likely to have a birth defect regardless of use of ART. The study showed use of ART did not significantly increase the risk of...

Landmark Study Demonstrates Natural IVF Alternative Effective in Helping Infertile Couples Conceive

TECHNOLOGICAL CONCEPTION Researchers from the International Institute of Restorative Reproductive Medicine have published a study in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine which confirms that natural procreative technology, called NaProTechnology or NPT – a non-invasive fertility-care based medical approach to the treatment of infertility – provided live birth rates comparable or superior to more invasive treatments, including assisted reproductive technology (ART) and in vitro fertilization (IVF). NPT was developed from thirty years of scientific research in the study of the normal and abnormal states of the menstrual and fertility cycles by Dr. Thomas W. Hilgers. The study was conducted in Ireland and involved 1072 couples who had who sought medical help because of difficulty conceiving or carrying a pregnancy to term. Dr. Phil Boyle, one of the study authors and director of the Galway NaProTechnology Medical Centre, explained that NPT can often resolve infertility or miscarriages by detecting and correcting problems overlooked by standard approaches. “Nearly half the patients we see have been told they have unexplained infertility,” said Dr. Boyle. “After NPT investigations, 2/3 of the patients had a hormone abnormality and more than 1/4 were diagnosed with cervical mucus dysfunction, a critical factor for sperm survival and transport. Once these and other problems were identified and treated, NPT enabled the couples to conceive using a natural act of intercourse.” Overall, 52.8% of patients completing treatment could expect to have a successful live birth, which rivals previously published results for expensive in vitro fertilization (IVF), which may require patients to endure multiple invasive treatments to achieve a similar success rate. The NPT result is even...

Babies Conceived Through IVF Have a Higher Risk of Death at Birth (Lancet, 7/08)

BABIES CONCEIVED THROUGH IN-VITRO FERTILIZATION HAVE HIGHER RISK OF DEATH at birth than those conceived naturally, the results of a new study show. IVF children are also at an increased risk of being born prematurely and of weighing less at birth, scientists found. Researchers looked at more than 2,500 women who had conceived both naturally and through IVF and compared the results to more than one million natural conceptions. They found that babies who had been conceived through IVF were 31 percent more likely to die in the period before and after their birth. IVF conceived children also tended to weigh an average of 0.9 ounces (25g) less at birth, the findings, published online in the Lancet medical journal show. The babies also tended to be born earlier, by an average of two days, and were 26 percent more likely to be small for their age. Dr Liv Bente Romundstad, from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, who led the study, believes that the high death rate among IVF babies could be linked to the underlying reasons why their mother sought infertility treatment in the first place. Her results also show that among women who conceived with fertility treatment but also had another child naturally, the spontaneously conceived baby was three times more likely to die than its IVF sibling. "The adverse outcomes of assisted fertilisation that we noted compared with those in the general population could therefore be attributable to the factors leading to infertility, rather than to factors related to the reproductive technology," Dr Romundstad said. Doctors have tried to reduce the safety risks...

Assisted Reproductive Technology Surveillance — United States, 2005 (6/08)

TECHNOLOGICAL CONCEPTION ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGY SURVEILLANCE — UNITED STATES, 2005. Assisted reproductive technology (ART) includes fertility treatments in which both eggs and sperm are handled in the laboratory (i.e., in vitro fertilization and related procedures). Patients who undergo ART procedures are more likely to deliver multiple-birth infants than women who conceive naturally. Multiple births are associated with increased risk for mothers and infants (e.g., pregnancy complications, premature delivery, low-birthweight infants, and long-term disability among infants). This report presents the most recent national data and state-specific results. Reporting Period Covered: 2005. Description of System: In 1996, CDC initiated data collection regarding ART procedures performed in the United States, as mandated by the Fertility Clinic Success Rate and Certification Act of 1992 (FCSRCA) (Public Law 102-493 [October 24, 1992]). Beginning with 2004, CDC has contracted with a statistical survey research organization, Westat, Inc., to obtain data from ART medical centers in the United States. Westat, Inc., maintains CDC's web-based data collection system called the National ART Surveillance System (NASS). Results: In 2005, a total of 134,260 ART procedures were reported to CDC. These procedures resulted in 38,910 live-birth deliveries and 52,041 infants. Nationwide, 73% of ART procedures used freshly fertilized embryos from the patient's eggs, 15% used thawed embryos from the patient's eggs, 8% used freshly fertilized embryos from donor eggs, and 4% used thawed embryos from donor eggs. Overall, 42% of ART transfer procedures resulted in a pregnancy, and 35% resulted in a live-birth delivery (delivery of one or more live-born infants). The highest live-birth rates were observed among ART procedures that used freshly fertilized embryos from donor eggs (52%)....

Artificial Reproduction Could Soon Take Place With A Pill in A Woman's Body (4/08)

TECHNOLOGICAL CONCEPTION A new report indicates artificial reproduction could take place with a capsule inside a woman's body rather than using traditional treatment at a fertility clinic. Pro-life groups are concerned that the "progress" in fertility treatment continues to commodify human life. The Invocell technique involves the mixing of eggs and sperm in a pill-like container that is placed inside a woman's vagina for three days. Any resulting embryos are screened for quality and implanted in the womb. The London Times bills the company's new approach as a treatment that could allow women to have in-vitro fertilization in a quicker and cheaper setting — perhaps stopping by on their lunch hour. BioXcell, the US-based company behind the Invocell process, hopes to introduce the new process in England later this year and has applied for approval from American regulators. During the process, women would be given a drug to stimulate their ovaries and eggs would be removed while she is sedated. Up to seven eggs could fit in the Invocell capsule along with cleansed sperm. After the three-day wait, a woman would return to the fertility clinic for a second appointment where the capsule is removed. After inspection, clinic workers transfer one or two of the most viable human embryos. The newspaper cites fertility experts who say women would only need to spend 90 minutes in a fertility clinic in the process and they say it would reduce the costs since incubation is unnecessary. But John Smeaton, the director of the British-based Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, and calls the news "frightening" because some unborn children would obviously...

Embryo Donation-Adoption Conference

Emerging Issues in Embryo Donation and adoption will be the centerpiece of a first of its kind conference next month in Washington D.C. Sessions will delve into a variety of subtopics in the emerging field of embryo donation and adoption under the direction of Dr. Jeffrey Keenan. He’s the director of the National Embryo Donation Center. “We have here at the National Embryo Donation Center over 40% pregnancy and delivery rate per embryo transfer with these embryos.” Medical experts, attorneys, and public policy representatives will cover angles like embryo donation qualifications, so couples craving to fill a nursery crib know this new form of adoption is safe. “These donors are screened initially and ideally rescreened for sexually transmitted diseases and any infectious diseases that could impact the adopting couple.” Marti Bailey and her husband have just given birth through embryo transfer and are the proud parents of twins… a boy and a girl. “While I was waiting for a birth family to choose us I could be pregnant and be having my own adopted child. So that is what we decided to do.” Because the procedure doesn’t compromise their Christian values, Jen and her husband Todd of Arizona have just begun the screening process. “We‘re both very passionately pro-life one thing that was really heavy on our hearts was just how many embryos are frozen in storage.” Over half a million frozen embryos are in storage in the U.S. [25Apr08, by Karen Johnson,...

Infertile Daughters Could Give Birth to their Own Half-Siblings with Ova Freezing Technology

Advances in cryotechnologies have allowed British IVF facilities to offer a new service to infertile women, the Times reports today. Using recently developed techniques of freezing tissues, six women have stored extracted ova to be donated later to their infertile daughters who suffer from Turner syndrome, a condition that makes it impossible for them to produce their own eggs. The Times quotes Dr. Gillian Lockwood, medical director of Midland Fertility Services, saying, “The perfect egg donors for girls with Turner syndrome are their own mothers.” The women, five of whom have undergone the procedure at Care Fertility, a chain of clinics across the Midlands and the north of England, intend to donate their ova to be used later in IVF treatments to create offspring that have a “genetic link”. Under this scheme, the daughters would be giving birth to their own half-siblings. Under British law, regulations do not prohibit the storage and donation of gametes, either male or female. Until recently, however, it was very difficult to store ova, which have a greater tendency to break down under the freezing process than sperm. Josephine Quintavalle of Comment on Reproductive Ethics (CORE) expressed some concerns about the technology, saying, “The child could feel a crisis of identity trying to work out their relationship with relatives. The daughter’s husband may also feel an obligation to fertilise his mother-in-law’s eggs.” But Professor Gedis Grudzinskas, a consultant gynaecologist at the Bridge Centre, in London, defended the technology, saying, “This is a right and proper way to use this egg-freezing technology. It is a natural urge for women to want to become grandparents.” [26Feb08,...

On the Risk of Incest for Children of IVF (2008)

Fatal Attraction? On the Risk of Incest for Children of IVF          As the month of love rolls in, we are inundated with stories of romance on television, in the news, and even in forwarded e-mails. Among the stranger stories are those like the December report of British twins who unwittingly married each other. Such stories have been the basis of ancient literature as in the legends of King Arthur, or in the current cultural icon of the soap opera. While this story is based on a single reference lacking in detail, its introduction in a debate in the British House of Lords was raised to point out the current risk of sibling marriage among children conceived through anonymous donor sperm or donor eggs. But is there a risk of incest among children of in-vitro fertilization (IVF)?          Regulation of assisted reproductive technology (ART) in the United Kingdom is through the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority which was created by legislation in 1990. In the United States there is no such comparative authority regulating ART. Because of the American legal tradition of limited government and a deferral to the authority of medicine, after nearly thirty years of practice, ART in the United States is governed by very few laws. The Fertility Clinic Success Rate and Certification Act of 1992 requires reporting of fertility cycles and their success rates to the Centers for Disease Control, but does not require fertility centers to comply. A few states have enacted embryo protection laws in regard to fertility treatments and parental rights and responsibilities. But so far, there is no regulation on collecting...

British Health Service May Pay Women to Be Surrogates

While the House of Lords continues to debate the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, the National Health Service (NHS) is considering paying women to carry children to term for someone else, including for homosexual partners. The Daily Mail reports that the North East Essex Primary Care Trust has discussed the possibility of paying for couples to have IVF services, including expenses for surrogacy. A report presented to the Trust directors said, “It appears that the majority of applications for surrogacy to be funded on the NHS stem from heterosexual couples, but consideration would need to be taken for any homosexual couple or single person who wished to become a parent through surrogacy.” “There are more extreme scenarios to consider, such as the husband or parents of a dead woman applying for surrogacy to provide a baby using the dead woman’s embryo.” Paul Tully, general secretary of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, spoke to LifeSiteNews.com about the practice of surrogacy, saying it is simply “part and parcel” of the commodification of the human embryo in the entire project of artificial reproduction. Tully said that while SPUC had not yet developed a specific policy on the practice, “we would be broadly critical,” in the same terms with which they criticise artificial reproductive services in general. “The whole human process is going in the Brave New World direction,” he said. “The embryo becomes a product,” he said, “as if those who are pursuing the new reproductive technologies are looking for different ways of using their new product.” Pending further information, the Trust plans to render a decision next month....

The Intentional Destruction of Human Embryonic Children (2007, 2008 update)

IN-VITRO FERTILIZATION MAY BE RESPONSIBLE FOR LOST LIVES OF MILLIONS OF UNBORN CHILDREN. "In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) doesn’t seem to be the panacea for birth for those wanting a baby. If this bursts your bubble, then maybe you’re uninformed. “'In Vitro' specifically means in a test tube, or Petri dish. Typically a number of eggs are ‘harvested’ from a woman, put in an artificial environment, fertilized by sperm, and then transferred back to the woman for gestation. Many say our action of creating life should be commended. "Only problem is that we’re creating life from the deaths of multiple others. "According to the Atlanta Center for Reproductive Technology, 170,000 fertilized human embryos created in 1999 alone, died in the process of attempting to conceive a child via in vitro fertilization. And, IVF is much more common today than in 1999. "From the Department of Health, over 1 million embryonic children were killed in the UK in the past 14 years as 'waste' embryos from IVF processes. The UK is only 20% of the US population." [Pewsitter.com; 12June08, DC, LifeNews.com]       UK IVF Clinics Have Intentionally Killed over One Million Human Embryonic Children The number of embryos used for in vitro fertilisation is expanding year after year. Following a UK Parliamentary question, data from a government organization showed that over one million human embryonic children were killed in the UK in the past 14 years as 'waste' embryos from in vitro fertilization (IVF) processes. The acquired data showed that 2,137,924 embryonic humans were created using IVF between 1991 and 2005, but about 1.2m were never used. Scientists killed...

Sperm Donor Forced to Pay Child Support After Lesbian Couple Separate

A London firefighter who donated his sperm to allow a lesbian couple to conceive is being forced to pay thousands of pounds in child support now that the couple has broken up. Andy Bathie, 37, claims he was assured by the couple he would have no personal or financial involvement for the children, but has no legal grounds for the assurance because the donation did not go through a center licensed with the British Child Support Agency (CSA). Bathie says he is in shock and anger, and that the costs of child support for the two children born from the donation will prevent him from being able to afford having children with his wife. “I don’t have any particular ill will,” he said, “It’s the fact that I still even now don’t see why I should have to pay for another couple’s children.” But UK law does not yet recognize that they are not Bathie’s children. The law only tries to nullify the need for a biological father in the case of a licensed clinic, but ministers have drawn up reforms to the law giving equal parenting rights to same-sex couples who “marry.” A spokeswoman for CSA said: “Unless the child is legally adopted, both biological parents are financially responsible for their child – the Child Support Agency legislation is not gender or partnership based,” said a spokeswoman for the CSA said. Bathie has begun unprecedented court action to ensure he cannot be recognized as a legal parent to the children. “I would never have agreed to this unless they had been living as a committed family,” Bathie told...

Scientists Try to Build a Better 'Womb' for IVF (10/07)

In a University of Tokyo laboratory, a pipette-wielding technician delicately positions 10 mouse eggs on a razor-thin microchip lined with a "bed" of cultured uterus tissue…"This is a new way to culture embryos in an environment that is closer to what happens inside the body," he said in an interview. Although results in mice so far are only slightly better than with the current method, Fujii dreams of building an automated device that takes in eggs and sperm at one end and delivers healthy human embryos out the other with near-assembly line results… Others are pursuing even more futuristic goals. Cornell University scientists built an artificial womb from cultured layers of mouse uterine tissue in 2003. Although embryos implanted and began to grow, they didn't survive, and while the studies continue, they have been placed on the back burner.   For now, Fujii and other researchers developing technologies that try to mimic the womb are focused on improving in vitro fertilization – and progress is needed. Just 29 percent of couples who attempted IVF in 2005 gave birth to a child, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. That was up from 24.7 percent in 1998, but still far from reliable enough for infertile couples, who often attempt IVF multiple times. A CDC report issued in 2002 found that among US women of childbearing age, 10 percent had consulted a doctor for infertility.   Some people are worried by increasingly artificial means of reproduction, said Josephine Johnston, a researcher at the Hastings Center, a bioethics think tank in Garrison, N.Y. One concern is that "assisted...

Couple Sues IVF Doctor for Cost of Raising Twin

Couple wanted only one child and find they are “overwhelmed” raising two children A lesbian couple in Australia have taken the first ‘wrongful birth’ lawsuit in Australian legislative history to court. The two women, who have three year old twin daughters, are suing Canberra obstetrician, Robert Armellin, for ‘wrongful birth’ after he supervised the implantation of two embryos instead of one into the birth mother during the in-vitro fertilization procedure. The women, who cannot be named because of a court order, are suing the doctor for almost $400,000 (USD) which they contest will be the cost of raising the mistakenly implanted second child. The sum includes funds for private school, medical expenses and lost wages for the women. According to the Australian newspaper, the PerthNow, the mother claimed that certain aspects of pregnancy were extremely stressful to her – for instance, buying a stroller – due to the fact that she was carrying twins. “It was like the last frontier of acceptance to spend hundreds of dollars on a pram.” The mother also lamented that she suffered nausea during the pregnancy. The mother’s partner claimed in court that the couple became so overwhelmed with every day childcare issues that they lost their ability to function as a couple. Under questioning from Armellin’s lawyer, the mother admitted that the couple initially thought of keeping one of the children and putting the other up for adoption but decided that to do so would be unfair to both children. “The primary consideration was that adoption shifted the burden of responsibility for this situation onto the children. The burden is not the children’s...