Essay on 3.3 bio ethics

Submitted By asdfghjkl0987654321
Words: 1927
Pages: 8

What does ethical mean?
Ethical can be defined as “relating to the philosophical study of ethics” or “conforming to accepted standards of social or professional behaviour” [1]
What is the definition of your chosen ethical issue?
In-Vitro Fertilization is when an unfertilized egg from a woman and sperm from either her partner or a donor are combined in a laboratory. The embryo is then placed into the women’s womb or is frozen for future use. [2] In-Vitro means ‘in glass’ which is where fertilization occurs without the sexual act taking place. It was originally designed for women who had either damaged or absent fallopian tubes so that they were then able to have a baby. [3]
Why is it an ethical issue?
In-Vitro Fertilization is an ethical issue because it is the creation of life by using medical processes. This takes out the marital aspect of having a child and also creates life which may then be destroyed. Many religions also debate whether an embryo is a living person or not. If an embryo is not used it then dies or is used for stem cell research, this can be seen as murder or exploitation of a human being, which is a serious ethical issue. Linked to this debate are the ethical issues that arise from issues such as genetic selection and cloning which are all processes that occur outside of normal sexual relations.
There is also an equity issue: in-vitro processes costs significant amounts of money therefore it becomes only available to those that can afford it; if it is a helpful and beneficial process it should be made available to all
Finally there are the different motivations of potential parents; the majority choose IVF because they want a family but are unable to have one naturally; this is generally seen as better than those who have IVF because they don’t want a partner, or who want a designer baby.
What background information is given about your chosen ethical issue? What sub-issues are included in this issue?
The first IVF baby, Louise Brown was born in England in 1978. In 1983 New Zealand first IVF baby was born in Christchurch, although it was conceived in Melbourne. Then in 1987 our first private IVF clinic was opened in Auckland followed by the birth of the first child conceived in New Zealand through a donor egg implant in 1993 [4]. It is now becoming a more and more frequent choice for couples in New Zealand struggling to conceive. New Zealand figures indicate that 15 out of every 100 couples struggle to conceive and that 5 out of 100 will use the IVF programme. This means that about 450 IVF babies are born per year in New Zealand [5]. The New Zealand government has recently announced that they will pay for “IVF with PGD (Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis) for couples with a high risk of having children with serious genetic disorders” [6]. It is estimated that it will cost the government $12,000 and is expected to be eligible to around 40 couples per annum in New Zealand. New Zealand’s laws still restrict couples from being able to choose the sex of embryos for implantation by the use of PGD. [7]
There are many sub-issues that are involved with the IVF process for example there is cost, surrogacy, stem-cell research and donor sperm or egg which are all an important part in the process of IVF. The cost of IVF is very expensive and ends up ranging from $8,805 to $12,385 [8]; it is also a long and strenuous process which should be taken in to account. “Ten to fifteen percent of married couples are unable to have children” [9] that is why many turn to surrogacy which is where a woman carries the child for an infertile couple [10].
Surrogacy can be seen as ‘renting a womb’ in which the mother carries this baby for months and then has to give it to the parents once the birth has taken place. During this time it is possible that the mother could then not want to give the baby up due to her creating a bond with the baby inside her. This would lead to many legal battles causing stress and pain to both