Tuesday, April 21, 2009

American Experience on Test Tube Babies


Recently, a southern Californian woman gave birth to octuplets conceived through IVF. There have been differing and changing views from religious conservatives. How much government regulation should there be on these procedures? Should prospective mothers be screened in some way for "fitness"? After viewing the American Experience video, what are you thoughts, comments, views???

49 comments:

Christopher said...

As the final video segment said: this sort of thing has become such a commonplace and even nondescript procedure that most of us do not question its rightness. This follows a general trend that I have noticed, where new technology is at first feared, especially by the religious and conservative — in vitro all the more, for similar reasons as the touchiness of abortion (because it closely involves human biological processes and 'the miracle of life') — and then within a generation or two the tables are turned and first the intellectual mainstream, then the general public, gradually come to see such objections as old-fashioned or even superstitious (as with the creationist backlash to evolution).

I myself make no value judgement about this process's working on this particular issue, largely because I have no strong opinion on in vitro. When combined, for example, with massive amounts of fertility hormones, as I understand was the case with this octuplets woman, it seems to offer people an unprecedented amount of licence in how many children they want to have and when — which most of the time, monstrosities like these octuplets (the manner of their conception, not the babes themselves) excepted, may not be a bad thing. On the other hand, global overpopulation being the problem it is, any technology that encourages people to have more children is not necessarily the most attractive development. But this is little more than a quibble, the mere millions of test tube babies being, of course, statistically irrelevant to global population trends.

In general, I should think that a technology like this is good news as long as it lets some people live happier lives without putting other people's happiness at peril; but as with any technology with the potential for exploitation, its use should certainly be closely regulated.

Period 2_Kanishka said...

This idea of test tube babies is an interesting one. Like Christopher notes, there is a general trend for society to fear and doubt these (what seem) absurd technologies. I personally think it is a great solution for women and men who are infertile and who want children. I happen to have a cousin who is a test tube baby; and unlike popular belief in the 50s and 60s, he is definitely not a monstrosity. Like the video says though, this technology has led to the consideration of "manufacturing" babies with particular traits, such as strong mathematical or athletic skills. While I support the in vitro, I am not enthusiastic about the idea of creating babies with certain traits -- survival of the fittest anyone?

Christopher brings up a good point though about the woman with octuplets and the ever growing concern with overpopulation. Still, I firmly support this right to have test tube babies. Maybe to prevent cases like Soloman's (the mother of octuplets) it is possible that the person is evaluated in terms of physical and mental health and socio-economic status.

period2_Hannah said...

I personally have no problem with in vitro fertilization; I do not believe that it is in any way a form of abortion. I don’t think that anyone but the mother should be able to say when it is an embryo and when it becomes a human life. This procedure is a great option for infertile couples, single mothers, and gay couples. If someone wants that much to have a child but their bodies are not able to, they have every right to try other measures. These people are generally people who want children who they can love, care for, and provide for.
However, I think what happened with this woman with the octuplets is sick and wrong. This woman already has six children already; I can’t imagine that she doesn’t feel that her mothering dream isn’t realized after six kids. Wanted eight more is just greedy and selfish. This woman has had many very unsuccessful relationships and has some mental issues. She is not going to be a very emotionally stable mother. On top of that, she is unemployed and is relying on the government for money. An unemployed, emotionally unstable woman trying to raise fourteen children is possibly the most irresponsible thing I’ve ever heard of. These kids are not going to grow up in a stable environment and I don’t think they will get that much attention being one of fourteen. You can be sure that these kids are going to be really messed up emotionally. How is she going to get them through school? How is she going to provide for their basic needs? This woman is crazy she said, in an interview, and I quote “ I’m not selfish, I hold each baby for 45 minutes!”
In vitro fertilization is a blessing to thousands of people but it can go to far. “Octo-mom” is the perfect example of the privilege of getting IVF being seriously abused. Many people who have children naturally are not fit to have them but there is nothing stopping them. However, they also are not capable of the taking it that far to such crazy measures. I don’t think anyone can (or should necessarily) regulate who should have children but there should be something keeping monstrosities like this from happening. There is also the very imminent danger of science allowing people to decide things like whether their kids will be good at soccer, have a certain shaped ears, blue eyes, etc. This level of “perfection” is breeding; it’s not for people; it’s for show dogs and cultivated roses. Every child deserves a family that loves them simply for who they are and not for their carefully bred perfections.

Fred said...

i think that it's cool that scientists were able to come up with a procedure for women, who couldn't have babies otherwise, to give birth. I also think that the religous fanatics that believe that test tube babies are abominations because they weren't conceived naturally, are extremely wrong and annoying. IVF is becoming increasingly popular and scientists are making strides in being able to influence a babies traits. I don't think that this is right. Unnatural fertilization is one thing, but trying to create a perfect person woul make life uneventful.

Period 2 Marika said...

"Recently, a southern Californian woman gave birth to octuplets conceived through IVF. There have been differing and changing views from religious conservatives. How much government regulation should there be on these procedures? Should prospective mothers be screened in some way for "fitness"? After viewing the American Experience video, what are you thoughts, comments, views???"

I have nothing against IVF at all, and therefore feel that this is fine. My only problem with this specific case is that this woman keeps going back for more IVF. I don’t totally understand why she would continuously have children that she might not be able to care for. I think that it is possible that she just doesn’t know or think that the environment she is providing for her multitude of children might be harmful or emotionally insecure for the children. Before she had the octuplets she had already had six children. She claims to have only wanted one more child after the original six, but when six embryos were implanted (and two ended up as twins) she ended up with seven more than she had hoped for. Still, she says that she loves them all and will try to take care of them. Another major objection I have is that she is still in school – clearly she does not have enough time to take care of her fourteen existing children.
I would also like to point out that she was putting herself in danger (and was aware of this fact) by carrying eight fetuses. I think this is honorable, but at the same time, she does not seem to be thinking towards the future. These children could end up with severe mental and/ or physical problems because the mother carried all eight of them at a time.
I think that the process of determining whether parents or couples should be able to have babies through IVF should be similar to the process pre-adoption. A social worker would do some research to determine whether the parents are adequate for parenting or not. If they are deemed responsible then they can proceed with IVF procedures and pre-IVF injections. If not, they should discontinue the pre-IVF process. (Parents should be allowed to start with injections while the examination is in process.) This would create a screening process that would screen out potential abusers (physical and substance-related) as well as possibly save some babies from harm. This issue becomes more complicated when we add into the conversation normal births. Many people would leap to ask, “Well, if people who want to adopt have to go through this process, and people who want to go through with IVF have to go through this process, why not people who can conceive and give birth ‘naturally’?” My answer to that is that yes, the people who can conceive and give birth ‘naturally’ should also be required to go through this: it would provide the same screening that I mentioned before. I do not think that the government could or should regulate this process – it could become entangled in a great amount of legal issues that would not be resolved easily. Instead, private “social worker” systems should be set up to handle this process (and this process only). Their pay would come directly from the source (expecting parents), or by donation.
I really enjoyed the American Experience Video. I thought it portrayed the struggles of people very nicely as well as their enjoyment after the news that they were having children who were healthy (in some cases – in others the process did not work or was ruined).

period1marina said...

I'm not sure how I feel about IVF. Although it's amazing that women who could never have children can, I feel like science is overstepping its boundaries a little too much. Probably, people in the past would say things like that about things i consider normal today, but all the same, I don't like the concept. Not on religous grounds, I don't really care about the "killing the fertilized eggs" thing because I don't think they are really close enough to babies for it to be considred killing. I think it's a little weird, I wouldn't want to do it, but that part I don't mind. I just don't think science should be taken this far personally and that women who cannot have children should adopt and help the TONS of children who are not lucky enough to have parents. I admit I might feel differently if I was a woman who could not get pregnant, but I still think that not being able to is part of the natural course of being a human and that these things happen.
However, since IVF is happening, I will discuss how I feel about that. I don't think women should need "fitness tests", I think they should just be allowed to if they really want to (just like i think abortion should be allowed if they want it- it's their dicision not anyone else's).The technology is cool, and I'm glad that it helped certain couples who really were sad about it have children, and it's cool that humanity CAN do it.
I don't know, maybe this is kindof contradictory, but I still don't think we should do it.

period1helen said...

As pointed out above, in-vitro fertilization is no longer radical experimentation but another fairly common medical procedure, and, what's more, one that has been a boon to many couples. I think IVF should be regarded as such -- simply another standard option for the patient -- in the medical community.

As a standard medical procedure, it should be subject to the same strict quality regulations; malpractice, such as the procedure done on Octo-Mom (whose judgment is certainly impaired), should be intolerable!

Christopher raised the concern of overpopulation, and while I agree that the population needs to be decreased, there is no way to deny people the right to procreate. It is considered one of the most fundamental human rights, and, arguably, is the main purpose of existence. To deprive anybody of this right would be denounced as inhumane, and to deny only a certain group this right would be incredibly unfair.

period3_alice said...

Personally, we feel that the octomom was probably not prepared for eight more children. However, a problem arises when anyone suggests that there be a screening of eligibility for IVF because where do you draw the line. The octomom is an extreme example of someone who is looking to work the system in America that favors freaks. Looking at news headlines, it is easy to see that Americans are attracted to the media circus that is created by any strange occurrence.
We sympathized with Doris Del-Zio because she was a responsible individual who was prepared, financially, and emotionally, to take care of a child with her husband. There are screening processes during adoption to weed out irresponsible individuals, so we believe a similar system should be in place in the in vitro fertilization system. Just like you would not let a mentally unstable individual adopt 8 children, it is strange to let a woman possibly damage the lives of 8 children with her irresponsible conduct.
By Alice, Nairi, Lena

period3_abby said...

Zoe & my ideas:
We thought it was really interesting to learn about something we would generally take for granted. As Chris said earlier it has become really common place in our society that we didn't even know there was such a big controversy over it. It was shocking to see the steps people would go to prevent it, such as destroying the test tube that held the future embryo. It was especially interesting that Britain had a very different stance on it, and it was cool that it caused a change in American values. It seemed like international competition really changed American's ideas of morality. We also thought it was pretty ridiculous that the same man who was so anti-IVF in the first place, the one who threw out the test tube, was the same one who helped it progress in the end. We think its good that couples who couldn't have babies otherwise can now have their own children.

Period2DevSahni said...

The dilemma revolving around test tube babies is an ongoing controversy. I am in limbo on the idea of vitro fertilization. While the process of developing a baby can be performed both ways, I feel like natural fertilization is better. Although some couple have experienced miscarriages or simply can't have baby due to various reasons. I do agree with Hannah that there is a line, such as the octo. It may sound cliched but everything is good in moderation. Back to the case at hand, the lawsuit with the del zio's I was infuriated about. Both husband and wife agreed to follow vitro fertilization and they should remember that the risk of losing the baby is apparent. In society, when there is a breakthrough, there is going to be controversy as Chris said. In the end, vitro fertilization can be a good tool if used in fertilization. In the case of the octo-mom she needs some major help.

period4_sean said...

Overall, my feeling on In Vitro Fertilization are fairly straight forward. I believe that overall it is a good thing that will help many couples have children, who want to do so. I disagree with anyone who calls these infants monstrosities and people who take problems with IVF without it bearing any particular consequences on their lives. In short, if an action does not affect another person adversely, that person should have the right to do it. It is for this reason that I do not understand people's points of views who think this to be abominable.

In the case of the mother that had 8 children, I think that is wrong. Although, I am generally against the government mandating and controlling the peoples' action, in this extreme instance I think there should be some sort of regulation to deter people from clearly having more children then for which they could care. Principally because her actions are irresponsible especially towards her children. If any mother can afford to take care of their child, they should have the right to do so, and have as many children as they feel like having; however, there is no way that she would be able to devote the proper amount of attention to each child, and offer them a chance at and education and a future.

Period3_Nelson said...

After viewing the American Experience video, what are you thoughts, comments, views???
Although I do not think that it would be right for the government to intervene on a person's choice to have more children, there is definitely some concern over the abuse of IVF. Not only is having such a large amount of children hard to look after and have enough money to raise all of them, but having so many children is also harmful to all of their lives. In "Octomom"'s case, I think that it is incredibly selfish of her to have so many children when not only does she have six children beforehand, but she also does not have the money to provide for them and is only depending on others and the media for support.

After watching the video, it was very interesting to me how the public view of test tube babies changed so rapidly not unlike many other controversial issues. It was also interesting how many babies are born and have been born through IVF since then. The statistics show how much IVF has changed the world in allowing many people that normally could not have had their own child such as infertile parents, single parents, or gay couples. This once commonly condemned process has become something widely acceptable and has definitely made a big difference in how modern life is today.

Period4_TylerPeters said...

I think that the government shouldn't regulate in-vitro fertilization except for in extreme cases like octo-mom. If people want to have babies who are we to stop them? It is wrong and immoral to stop someone who cant otherwise have a baby from doing IVF. The government has no right to do it and they shouldn't. They should check to see if someone could afford to have eight kids kids but I don't think they need to regulate how many kids you can have. It is the persons decision to have eight kids via IVF and if they know the risks it is their decision.

I thought the movie was very interesting and I think it is interesting that so many people were against it and then when it worked they didn't really care anymore. I think it is good that people were able to accept it because it helps a lot of people who want to have kids but cant otherwise.

period4_nathan said...

I personally believe that if women want to have babies via IVF, why not. It's a way for infertile woman to be able to have children, like Mrs. Del-Zios from the American Experience videos. For an infertile woman like her to be able to have a child seemed like a dream come true for her, and when she found out that her test tube had been removed from the incubator, she was just as devastated as she was ecstatic, just a few days or weeks before. This procedure does not harm the people on which it is being performed, and if people wish to have it performed on them, then power to them. We should not be able to restrict people's rights on this matter, especially if it might give life to a child that wouldn't have lived without IVF.

Period4_Ethan said...

The government should regulate in-vitro fertilization to the same degree that it regulates sex. The government should not have the right to decide whether people can morally have the right to have a baby based on how capable they are of caring for it. People should be able to make their own decisions on having babies, however they decided to go about doing this. If they make a poor decision and follow through with the pregnancy, they should be prepared to deal with the consequences. As such, there should be no screening process of prospective mothers. Abortion is always an option for a pregnancy that is having problems, so if a mistake is made, it can be corrected.

I found the movie to be an interesting look at the beginnings of in-vitro fertilization, and especially the ethical and legal issues that went along with it. It would have been interesting to learn more about the science of it, as that was something that was only touched upon in the movie.

period4_annie said...

When considering IVF, I think it is a very good solution for women who cannot have children. Now that the procedure is more common and more predictable, I support IVF. It is quite amazing to think that humans can now control human processes such as reproduction. However, IVF poses the problem that people now may want children with specific traits, thus creating the "perfect" baby. This seems very wrong because people should accept their children the way they are.
As for government regulation, I think there should be a certain amount of regulation to make sure IVF processes are done responsibly. They should make sure that the parents will be able to take care of the children and are willing and ready to accept the responsibility. This would ensure that these children and families could support themselves and not end up depending on welfare. If this does happen, it is definitely an irresponsible act that is forcing the government to now support them. In the case of the mother with 8 children, I feel like she was very irresponsible and knew she couldn't care for that many children. There is no reason she would want that many more kids because anyone who's reasonable would realize the consequences of this act. This is also a good example of people abusing the practice of IVF for their own personal gain. I support reasonable uses of IVF for couples who really want a child and can't have one.

Period 1 Sterling said...

In my opinion, IVF is an acceptable option for women who really want to have a child but for certain reasons are unable to become pregnant. However, if the woman is physically not strong enough to be pregnant or give birth, I think that should be taken into account and IVF should not be allowed as an option. If people are going to use IVF, I think that many precautions should be made so that problems such as the Octomom's eight-child birth and other unnatural incidents such as that do not occur. I also think that if a woman is not able to have her own child without IVF but still really wants to be a mother, she really should adopt a child that needs a home rather than going to all the effort to have one through IVF just so that it can be her own.

Period4_Nick said...

It was very interesting in this video to see anti-abortion activists protesting the process of IVF back in the seventies and eighties. I think its a little ironic, since their movement is often called the "pro-life" movement, yet some supported the destruction of fertilized embryos in IVF labs. I don't see why it was such a big deal to them that more women were able to have children thanks to IVF. I suppose the unnatural approach that one would have to take with IVF as opposed to conventional conception would be off-putting to some conservatives to say the least. But if every child should have a chance at life as some pro-lifers say, maybe every woman should have a chance at motherhood, too.
Another thing that interested me was comparing the ruckus about IVF back when it was made public to how commonplace it seems now, even with so many religious right groups these days. Maybe they've accepted/tolerated it? But if that's the case, maybe other scientific advancements like abortion or cloning will become common someday, too.

Period 1 Chloe P-C said...

Personally, I think in vitro fertilization is wonderful. It creates the opportunity to have a baby for people who would not have otherwise been able to. I can't understand the views of those who say that in vitro is another form of abortion; how is attempting to create a child for parents who will love it wrong? However, potentially using in vitro as a way to genetically engineer humans is too "Brave New World" for me. A lack of genetic variation would just be creepy. I think in vitro should be a way create a family, not a way to engineer perfect spawn.

Reed Peck-Kriss said...

I do not neccesarily have a given philosophical objection to any number of children, or to IVF even remotely. However, we do have laws to protect children from abuse for a reason, and I am not really sure if this example counts. The woman and her family simply do not make enough money to support such a large number of people, and her apparent addiction to pregnancy, as a manner of speaking, might be a predictor of a potentially abusive situation.
The problem becomes where one draws the line as to the predictor, a question I do not think I have done enough musing on to answer.

period1danielle said...

I think that IVF is a great way for mothers who can’t normally have kids to have kids. Like Helen, I think that it should be a human right to be able to reproduce, but I think that since the world is too overpopulated we should start taking measures to bring the exponentially-growing human population under control. By reproducing too much, we have partially lost our right to reproduce. Any measure which tries to do this should not discriminate against people who have to use IVF to reproduce. Government involvement in IVF should be just as much as the government regulates any other business, but not any more. They should probably regulate IVF companies, labs, and procedures the same amount as they regulate hospitals and their procedures.
I think that prospective mothers shouldn’t be screened by the lab or government for “fitness” or ability to take care of their babies. Doctors usually know what their patient’s fitness and home situation are, and should act accordingly. If they think that the babies will not receive the care and attention that they deserve then they should talk to the mother/parents. They need to explain their problem thoroughly and tell the mother/parents specifically that they do not think the babies would be in a good environment. However, I do not think they can turn away a prospective parent unless the government starts regulating for all parents.
As for the fact that the lady had 8 babies at once, that is extreme malpractice. The number of embryos which can be implanted into the uterus should be controlled by the government in order to avoid ridiculous cases like this. Right now, the number of possible implanted embryos is too high, as shown by the fact that she had eight kids at once. One of my friends is a test tube baby. She is a triplet, and her two brothers have a bad disease which most likely resulted from their being triplets. To avoid the babies getting hurt, the number of implanted embryos should be lowered.

Period4_Carol said...

From what I have read about the California woman who gave birth to octuplets, much of the controversy stemmed from the belief that she was being an irresponsible adult. I do not know enough about her situation to make a judgment. In general, for the safety and well-being of the families and children involved with in-vitro fertilization, there should be government regulation of the procedures at least on a minimal, basic level. Ideally, the mother or couple will be well-suited as parents. However, such standards are very subjective and thus would be difficult to implement. In terms of physical health regulations, I hope that potential mothers are currently required to undergo a thorough physical examination to ensure that they are healthy enough for the procedure and pregnancy. In short, the role of government regulation in in-vitro fertilization should be to ensure or promote good practice and the well-being of everyone involved from the parents to the children.

Period3_Helen said...

I really enjoyed watching this video. I knew test tube babies existed, but I had no idea it was such a big deal back then. I understand what the religious conservatives are thinking, but I in no way agree with them. In a way, I relate it to certain current issues (gay marriage). It’s totally fine if some people don’t believe in test tube babies, but they shouldn’t have the right to deny other couples of this opportunity to “life’s greatest miracle.” Some women who are infertile don’t have the opportunity to give natural birth, and the rest of the world should not be able to decide whether they can use science to help them conceive a child. That said, I don’t think the government should regulate these kinds of procedures. It was totally unethical/unacceptable/down-right cruel when Raymond Vande Wiele killed/disposed of the Del-Zios’ egg/sperm specimen. Talk about anti-life and unethical… That could have been a baby, a human being. He has no right to deprive the Del-Zios of their right to have a child, especially when the experiment was partially underway. Overall I think that the “invention” of test tube babies was a brilliant discovery that allows couples to enjoy the magic of having their own children when they otherwise might not have been able to.

Period3_Helen said...

I really enjoyed watching this video. I knew test tube babies existed, but I had no idea it was such a big deal back then. I understand what the religious conservatives are thinking, but I in no way agree with them. In a way, I relate it to certain current issues (gay marriage). It’s totally fine if some people don’t believe in test tube babies, but they shouldn’t have the right to deny other couples of this opportunity to “life’s greatest miracle.” Some women who are infertile don’t have the opportunity to give natural birth, and the rest of the world should not be able to decide whether they can use science to help them conceive a child. That said, I don’t think the government should regulate these kinds of procedures. It was totally unethical/unacceptable/down-right cruel when Raymond Vande Wiele killed/disposed of the Del-Zios’ egg/sperm specimen. Talk about anti-life and unethical… That could have been a baby, a human being. He has no right to deprive the Del-Zios of their right to have a child, especially when the experiment was partially underway. Overall I think that the “invention” of test tube babies was a brilliant discovery that allows couples to enjoy the magic of having their own children when they otherwise might not have been able to.

Period4_Cole said...

I feel that IVF, like abortion, is not something that the government should control. I would like to believe that any adult is responsible and thoughtful enough to consider their own opinions on controversial practices like these so that they can choose for themselves whether they would make use of them. The truth is that many people's reasons for not supporting this type of procedure are perfectly valid based on their perspectives. They are clearly benefits to these new applications of science, and had the Del-Zio's acquired a new child it would have a perfect example of how scientific discoveries can truly help people's previously-unnatainable dreams come true. However, many people are put off by the unnatural aspects of IVF, and they can make the choice to keep it out of their lives. I think Marina brings up a good point, that there are plenty of ways to get a child that are perhaps more helpful to the global community. Adopting children in need is certainly a wonderful act that can lead to incredible experiences for parents and their children. At the same time, however, there is definitely a certain unique-ness to raising a child who is the protect of your egg or sperm. Because of this wide range of equally valid perspectives on this topic, I believe that the government should have no part in promoting or hindering IVF. Ultimately it must be a decision made by the mother and doctor. People like Octomom and her doctor make the practice seem like less of a serious endeavor that it really is, and the truth is, I believe that if she made the choice to carry out an action that she believed would make her well-known, then the infamy she received was well deserved. I certainly hope that she intends to love and provide for those children but feel that this type of moral misjudgement should not tarnish the reputation of a practice that, for many people, can be the miracle they need when "life's greatest miracle" doesnt work for them.

period1carlos said...

I feel that, in general, IVF is a good thing. It allows couples who could not otherwise conceive to do so and helps to bring happiness. In this form, as a simple, random process that selects a random egg and random sperm, one that mirrors normal human reproductive processes, IVF is very hard for me to oppose.
Once it is abused, on the other hand, that is, used in ways to deliberately "design" a baby or create octuplets, for example, IVF becomes a much more dangerous thing with much more similar implications for society. As has been discussed in other blog responses, this opens up the possibility for a Brave New World, or, at least, a "eugenical" future in which children are specially bred for certain characteristics. Naturally, that also calls into question the values our society if people are so consumed by the need for success that they will engineer their own children to ensure they excel.
Thus, I feel that IVF should be supported, but only insofar as those using it do not try to affect what sort of child is created by the process.

Period 2 Kenji said...

I believe that IVF is a great innovation that will help many couples who are not able to conceive children. However, in the extreme case of the mother with 8 children, I think that there should be a limit on the number of children a couple could have. There should only be Government regulation on IVF if a couple were to have more children then they can care for. Since IVF has become increasingly popular, scientists are making strides in the ability to influence a baby's traits. I do not agree with this. People should not be able to create babies with desired traits. I support the reasonable uses of IVF as long as it is not used to influence the characteristics of the baby.

Per1_Jenny said...

I do not think that the government should have any right to regulate invitro-fertilization because is is simply an alternate method of conceiving a child of your own. Of course, as humanity progresses new technological advances are made and we must embrace them or we'd be sitting in a cabin with no electricity or water- though i suppose some would enjoy that sort of thing. It is a different matter from adopting because you are adopting someone else's child and it is the adoption agency's responsibility to see that the child will be places into a safe home in acordance with the mother's wishes. In the cases with invitro-fertilization, the adults have thought a great deal about whether or not to have the baby and are willing to pay for it so it would be similiar to buying pills and hormones that promote fertility at a local drugstore without all the moral outrage. My sister was born through invitro-fertilization and if the government had intervened and told MY family how to live OUR lives, i wouldn't have her.

I liked the movie because it's interesting to see how this technology was developed and all the legal stuff it had to go through to get to now.

Callie said...

I think that IVF a good thing, as long as it is partially regulated. I don’t think the government should control and intervene into others lives; however, I do believe there is a line between drastic intervening and protection of children. I think IVF is good because it is amazing that now women who could never have children can actually become mothers. It must seem like a miracle to them! But, it definitely should be not used in an out of control manner that could be bad or unsafe for the children and the mother. It would seem important to make sure that IVF would be the proper choice: both for the mother and the child. So, as I stated earlier, I think that the government should be slightly involved, for the well being of the child. However, I also think it is important to realize that although it would be nice for mothers to be able to have a child with their own DNA, society must remember that there are thousands of children that can be adopted. Adoption seems more beneficial, since a child who really needs a home could get one and a caring mother, too.

Period2Brandon said...

I really don't mind In Vitro Fertilization at all. I think its a very fascinating topic and has only enhanced our knowledge of science. However, I don't blame people for over reacting and saying things like "monster babies" because as human beings we tend to fear the unknown. In my opinion, who said there was a right way and a wrong way to make a baby? A baby is a baby, no matter where they come from. Its nice to know that infertile women now have an option. It also amazes me that science has developed so far that you can "make a baby in a test tube." It gives me hope that there is so much out there still to be discovered and improved. I am anxious to see what kind of stuff humans can come up with and discover in the future.

period3_Michael said...

In general I think IVF is a great thing. The fact that it allows infertile mothers to have children is a shining example of applied science at its finest. I don’t really have a problem with embryos being destroyed, since I don’t believe life begins at conception. However, if IVF allows a single mom to bear eight children, there are serious issues that must be contended with. IVF is the kind of thing that a government should rightly fear intervening with; who wants to revive ghost of Nazi eugenics and such unpleasentries? After all, what right does the government have to tell a woman when she can and when she cannot have children? Yet, certain restrictions must be put in place. I don’t think a mother should be forced to pass a physical screening test of any sort; I imagine that in general, couple who conceive naturally (and often not purposefully) will bring a child into a harsh, unforgiving environment with greater frequency than a couple who goes through all the trouble to careful plan IVF. Yet, no person should bear eight children, especially not a single mother. I believe there should certainly be restrictions, but that they should be reasonable. If doctors can’t tell a fertile couple when not to procreate, why should they have the right to tell that an infertile couple? They don’t have the right. But the secondary aspects to IVF such as multiple fertilizations should certainly be restricted, so we can keep terms like ‘octomom’ sounding more like Spiderman villains than anything else.

Period6 Erica said...

I don't think there's much more that I can add about the entire IVF debate. However, I do want to comment about Callie's point about adoption. Creating a child from your own DNA is great! But so is adopting a suffering orphaned child. Tens of millions of children are orphans at this very moment and according to UNICEF they estimate that there are about 210 million orphans! I feel that if you can give at least one child a stable environment and family then you're helping the world. And I know that sounds pretty cheesy; maybe it's the lack of sleep.

period4_challen said...

I believe in vitro fertilization is a great idea because it allows women who want a child to have one, regardless of whether or not she is fertile. I do not see any moral dilemma because though several embryos must be used and possibly destroyed, these would have never matured into humans anyways, so I do not see a problem. Also, as was previously mentioned, if IVF does not affect someone, then I do not see a reason why they should speak out against. Except in the case with the octomom; implanting that many embryos is irresponsible and should be disallowed.

Period1Gelsey said...

Overall, I think IVF is wonderful, and I'm happy that people who would be unable to conceive by normal means are now able to have children. I think what the anti-abortion activists are arguing is that some of the embryos will not survive the in vitro, and they consider this murder. Personally, that's ridiculous, and being a supporter of abortion anyway, I stand by the belief that a tiny clump of cells cannot be considered a human being. On another note, I was completely disgusted by the story of the Octomom. It was so irresponsible on her part to have that many embryos implanted when she already had six children, but I also believe that the doctor who performed the in vitro should bear some of the blame. Someone above suggested having the government limit the number of embryos that are allowed to be implanted, and I don't think this is a bad idea. However, I don't believe in screening mothers for fitness. If someone can have a baby through natural conception even if she is a drug addict, has a genetic disease, etc., then it is not right to limit the women who can have in vitro just because of who they are and what they can provide their children with. However, I wish there were a way to prevent something like the Octomom from happenening again. Providing for fourteen kids, eight of them babies, in this economy is completely insane. So, IVF is great overall, but people really shouldn't abuse it.

Period 1 Virginia said...

Before watching this video, I was perfectly fine with IVF and just thought "Octo-mom" was a weird anomaly. After all, there will always be people who will overuse and abuse new technology and discoveries. However after watching this video, it raised some questions for me and though I would still call myself in favor of IVF, I have a few more reservations about. For instance, one of the gentlemen in the film notes that people were afraid of IVF because it seemed like a slippery slope which might descend into eugenics. This might be a lot more pertinent in society nowadays with the many instances of parents morphing their children from infancy into athletes or scholars. However since IVF doesn't involve alteration of the genes, just choosing of the egg and sperm, it would be hard to craft a specific type of baby.

I am all for IVF with a few exceptions. I'm still unsure about whether that should be requirements you must meet to have IVF. At first I though that since there is such a rigorous screening for prosective adoptive parents, it is only fitting that there be one for IVF parents. However I learned that the embryo is implanted in the womb only a few days after fertilization. At this point (in my mind at least), the embryou is not technically a human and is more of a chance at life than an actual life itself. So in this way, getting IVF is just like conceiving naturally except for with a little help from scientists. Since there is obviously no test to become a parent for couple who conceive on their own, perhaps IVF should be allowed for anyone. I do disagree with what Octomom did since she is no position financially to raise 14 kids. However it was her right and, as I mentioned in the beggining, there will always be ridiculous people abusing the rights they are given and the technology that is available to them.

period1erik said...

I never realized that the octuplets in this recent media storm had been conceived through IVF. Because of this, I can see how religious conservatives could have been bothered. I guess it is sort of like the protests over the first early conceptive experiments over the creation of subhuman, or superhuman infants. The fact that the octuplets were delivered healthy and have thusfar survived is certainly wonderful, but it does raise some suspicions over the nature of IVF, if it somehow alters the embryo. In this case, conservatives would be against the modification of embryos to create an altered baby, meddling with the works of god (God), and all that. I personally disagree with the religious aspect of this argument, however, I feel that the alteration of a human embryo (which IVF doesn't necessarily do), with a certain risk of harming the embryo, even if it has a chance of a great success, shouldn't be tested on humans until it is a perfected process (i mean, as cool as having eight functional arms would be, it might be hard for society to accept said person). In these cases, I feel it is necessary for the government to intervene. (The person secretly pioneering IVF, his name escapes me at the moment, went against the preconstructed regulation on human research; this I disapprove of).
As for the fitness of women desiring IVF, certainly there should be some sort of "screening" process. I'm all for pushing your body, but if you're some skinny little thing that's infertile due to skinniness or something, having eight babies at once might not be the best idea. But that is not the case for most women; most women are perfectly healthy and should be able to obtain IVF if they so please. I only think a woman should be refused IVF if receiving it endangers either her life or the life of her developing child(ren). It's simple logic, I would think.
As for the whole concept of IVF, I think it's quite wonderful. That women who are infertile naturally, can semi-naturally have a baby is great. The fact that two million "test-tube babies" have been born successfully is mind-bottling (you know, when your thoughts get all trapped up like inside a bottle). That is all.

period2Oona said...

I don't mind In Vitro Fertilization at all. I think that it can be really great for a women who is not able to conceive. And personally I find it incredible and a little unbelievable that we have the technology to do that today. The video was interesting because we got to follow the process and see them test it out and it showed good examples of women who, would otherwise, not be able to have a child. I understand that some people don't feel that it is natural and that if you're going to have a baby in an unnatural way, why not just adopt? But I think that it's hard to say what that would feel like unless you were the woman that couldn't have a baby. Of course, I have never had a baby but I've heard that it's an incredible life changing experience and to deny that from someone who wants it seems wrong. For most cases I would say that the government should step out, however, in some cases I believe that there should be some kind of background checks or something. Since in some cases the families get money for each child they have, it doesn't seem fair to bring a baby into that environment. Overall, I don't have a problem with In Vitro Fertilization and watching the process wow's me every time. I get amazed by the things my graphing calculator can do, so this kind of thing just blows my mind and i enjoy learning about it because it makes me think about all the amazing things that are still yet to come!

period1ColeG said...

I agree with Fred that it is cool doctors were able to come up with a method for pregnancy in women who had been unable to get pregnant. People have every right to have a child, regardless of how they choose to have it. I think that it is messed up that people are so against IV. When IVF is taken as advantage of, such as the case of the insane woman who had eight children it becomes an issue, but when used for more purposes that don't seem to defy the medical world it shouldn't be a problem. Also trying to create a genetically flawless person is dangerous and could lead to future problems.

period3_corey said...

I think there should be no government regulation on these procedures. If anything the government should help fund them. Although back when IVF started I can see why there would be many people who disliked it, in this age there is so much leniency that there should be no problem with IVF. Personally I think it is in no way immoral. I think that it is great there is now a way to help infertile individuals. The testing has come a long way and stopping now would not be beneficial to anybody. Similarly, I don't think mothers need to be screened for fitness. If they do, then all pregnant women should. IVF should be used to help women get past the stage that they are stuck at with pregnancy, but I think it should be as natural as the mother wants. The doctor should listen to what the mother wants, and comply. Overall I think IVF is a great breakthrough in science and should be used enough as needed.

Period1_Micaela said...

I think it's a a good alternative for women who want to have kids but who simply can't. But I strongly object to IVF because trying to make a baby that is perfect goes against the nature of having a baby. People who want to have the perfect baby shouldn't be parents in the first place. I understand that parents would want their children to be the best but for me at least it's more important to be able to see myself in my child. Thus, I think the woman should be evaluated to see if they are ready to have a child.

priscila_1 said...

I believe that is IVF is a very personal decision that should not be influenced by others opinions. I do not know how these infertile women feel and i have never even tried to put myself in their shoes, so I feel like I could never judge them for what they do. I also believe that people who have strong opinions about these subjects should not try to impose their way of thinking on anyone else. The accepting middle gray ground should be the place for people who have not personally experienced the hardships of being infertile. We should all embrace new technology specially technology that is in some way beneficial to others. As one of the comments mentioned there are different stages that new technology has to undergo for it to be accepted by society. I believe that this will continue to happen if people do not try to see other people’s point of view and learn to respect it. But there should be some restrictions to who can obtain IVF because these babied deserve a good loving family that can provide for the physically and emotionally.

Period3_Manasi said...

I understand why people would be against IVF: it brings up the whole idea of scientists and doctors playing God, etc. but I personally thing that it's so unfair to deny a couple the right to have a child, and when the technology is there, why not? I guess most of the controversy stems from the definition of life, and where life begins. In that sense, I suppose that if you use the eggs and sperm as "living things," then testing on them is logically immoral. I think that this topic, like abortion should be dealt with on an individual level, because everyone's definition of life is going to be different. I mean, if people are willing to give their eggs and sperm up to a procedure that might "kill" them, why should they be stopped? Completely banning it, in my view, is really unfair. Everyone should have a baby if they want one. But, the government should have some hand in making sure that IVF companies are using safe practices etc. So perhaps some sort of regulation board akin to the FDA?
I've heard people talk, not necessarily on this video, but in life in general, that people who are infertile shouldn't be allowed to have children this way because "God deemed them not worthy of taking care of babies." That is a statement that would only come out of maybe 1 in 1,000 mouths, but it's worth talking about. I think it's ridiculous to say that; would that person say that themselves if they were denied having children? Would they simply accept it as the hand of God, especially if they really, really want children? I think not.
Also, addressing the whole "picking out the 'best' egg and sperm" to create "superbaby" seemed to me almost absurd. At least at this point, we are not even close to the GATTACA situation; just having a genetic sequence of a person tells us almost next to nothing. I know that technology is advancing at an incredibly rapid pace, but it seems almost implausible to me that scientists could, potentially, one day, simply look at specific fertilized eggs and say "This baby will have x,y, and z characteristics, as opposed to this other egg that has a, b,c characteristics."

Period1Issiah said...

Personally I believe that the government should regulate the number of possible children to be born along with the economic state of the individual/individuals excepting the children or child. If only to ensure similar things to the "octomom" situation do not occur in the future.

Other than in the case of the "Octomom" I believe technology such as this is a blessing to those who previously may have not been able to have children of their own. Hopefully research such this will also continue to bring more exciting developments.

Period3_Talon said...

I believe that IVF rules and regulations should be similar to those of adoption. It is important for the parents of a new born child or set of children to be able to provide for them. I believe that background checks and evaluations should be done on potential parents to ensure that their potential child can be cared for. I believe that it is a blessing that women who previously were not able to conceive may now have the capability to have children. But there can be a downside to this... Bringing a child into a world that can be potentially harmful to it later in life is not something that benefits anyone. Of course the government cannot and should not ever have control over who has sex with whom, nor can they control the processes of natural child birth. They can however, refuse to become a part of something that can put a child's life in danger. If this means that they follow similar procedures to adoption for IVF, then so be it.

Period3_Talon said...

I believe that IVF rules and regulations should be similar to those of adoption. It is important for the parents of a new born child or set of children to be able to provide for them. I believe that background checks and evaluations should be done on potential parents to ensure that their potential child can be cared for. I believe that it is a blessing that women who previously were not able to conceive may now have the capability to have children. But there can be a downside to this... Bringing a child into a world that can be potentially harmful to it later in life is not something that benefits anyone. Of course the government cannot and should not ever have control over who has sex with whom, nor can they control the processes of natural child birth. They can however, refuse to become a part of something that can put a child's life in danger. If this means that they follow similar procedures to adoption for IVF, then so be it.

Period6Emily said...

I think that IVF is a valuable resource for people who either can't conceive or don't want to take the traditional route of conception. However, I think that in cases such as the mother who had octuplets, doctors should be more concious of the person's ability to support the children. It is hard to monitor what is an acceptable environment for IVF, so i think that there should be a set of regulations as to how many children a person should be allowed via IVF. I think that this will prevent such cases as the octo-mom. I am not by any means opposed to people have many children, however i think that if a family grows gradually a parent will be more able to asses their own ability to support children and will therefore make better decisions as to the amount of children they can have. With IVF, a mother can have many children at one time and they may not realize that they are unable to support all of these children.

period3_Chris said...

I agree with many of my peers that parents who are physically unable to have children should have the right to try other means. In vitro is a technology that gives couples another way to have true biologic children, a joy that ideally every couple should be entitled to. This video raises the question, however, of where to draw the line. I do not agree with the idea of "designer babies" because it does not seem natural or moral. It is difficult to determine what it means to "design" your baby, however. When the In vitro process is performed, it is not guaranteed that every fetus will survive. This is why doctors will create several fetuses. If multiple fetuses survive, then the mother can choose which one(s) to keep alive. Isn't this in a way designing your own baby? This is an extreme case in which the mother was not eligible to take care of all her children, and there should have been a screening process beforehand.

James said...

I can see people being concerned about IVF process, in terms of scientist playing god and all that, but I personally see it a a true blessing to those who would have have been able to experience bringing life into the world without it. I can't imagine how happy countless mothers must have been because of this process and as such i believe it to be grounded in moral and wholesome basis.
I also find the idea of creating children with particular traits a rather interesting one. I feel many people are apposed to it, though can't truly say why. I think if a parent is trying to give a child the best life possible, isn't the gift of brilliance or athletic ability one of the greatest ways to do that? I personally wouldn't exactly mind an artificial boost in athletic ability or mental capacity, and I doubt many others would either As far as in the case of "octomom", I believe the government regulating the amount of children a person can have, based on their economic ability to care for it, is a sound idea.

Melina said...

I think IVF is a great scientific development that has helped and will help many women who could otherwise not have children. However, like previous people have said, overpopulation is a huge problem, and it might be good to put a cap on the number of children someone could have. However, I don't really know how the government could do this, and the government shouldn't have the right to dictate how many kids a woman should have. It also would be a good thing to encourage adoption. I don't have any moral objections to IVF, and I think the babies concieved through IVF are totally normal, but the only weird thing to me is the having of 8 kids. IVF people should be able to choose how many kids they want to have, but if a fertile woman couldn't have 8 kids, it seems weird that octo-mom could because of IVF.

Going back to government regulation, I think overall I would say there should be no government regulation, because the government doesn't normally regulate sex or the having of children, and IVF shouldn't be any different. However, I think that fertile women, and women who would use IVF should have equal opportunities to conceive the children. IVF women should be able to have babies too, but they probably shouldn't be able to have more than fertile women could naturally have.