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Ethical, Legal and Social Issues Affecting Assisted Reproductive Technology - Paper Example

7 pages
1721 words
George Washington University
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Reproduction transcends the course of nations and borders and thus demands certain attention. In the recent past, most families endured a series of trauma in relation to their inability to conceive or put more simply, the stress underlying infertility (Garcia, 1998, pp.625). Prior to the current technological advancement, scientists have carried out extensive research with regards to finding considerable breakthroughs relevant to this particular sector. Infertility has spawned considerable stressful times to couples over time (Reindollar et al., 2010, pp.893). Nonetheless, prior to the realization of the current breakthroughs in the field of ART, doctors, as well as medical professionals pertinent to this field experienced a stasis of sorts regarding delivering treatment on the same (Garcia, 1998, pp.625). Assisted reproductive technology mainly entails the inherent prospects defining surrogacy, in vitro fertilization, as well as assisted pregnancy. All of these procedures involve considerable medical procedures undertaken following the consent of the patient, say, the surrogate and or the main infertile patient (Reindollar et al., 2010, pp.893). At any rate while it is long and standing fact that assisted reproductive technology has delivered considerable leverage with regards to improving reproduction, it has conjured the aspects of social, legal, as well as ethical concerns all around the world. The rapid improvement exhibited in the field of assisted reproductive technology have led to the rise of controversial issues in the field. More aptly, this tremendous rise in technology regarding the stakes of the procedure have raised considerable ethical, social, as well as legal implications as to how best to proceed in this current field. Thus far, the objective of this research paper aims to highlight some of these ethical, social, and legal issues which have risen up in the course of time by delving deeper into the current assisted reproductive technology arena.

Reportage regulations

Following the rapid rise of improvement perceived in this particular field of assisted reproductive technology, various agencies, governmental or otherwise have come out to critically check on the validity status of the procedure currently issued in several countries around the world (Garcia, 1998, pp.625). Notably, this perceived advancement of technology in this particular field bring about a constant influx of ethical, legal, as well as social implications, the bulk of which incite loads of speculation across several platforms in the world over (Garcia, 1998, pp.625). In that regard, several organizations have lodged forth statutory legislations in a bid to aid monitor the staggeringly rising improvement in this field. For instance, the American fertility society published its first regulations appertaining to the implementation of stringent ethical considerations in the field of assisted reproductive technology within the United States. Analytical perspectives ascertain that the vibrant nature, as well as the quick evolution of this particular field of reproductive technology bring about the aspect of shifting paradigms. As such, there is a need for constant, as well as austere examination of the stakes carried out in this field of ART.

Notably, in the recent past, rising concerns in the field included a diverse array of controversial issues ranging from the ubiquitous fiscal constraints to the inherently complicated specifics of ART such as the injection of gonadotropins. In addition, issues surrounding the accountability and transparency of several institutions offering the service endured strict scrutiny from the public, as well as reputable governmental agencies.

Concurrently, many states offering the service have come up with specific legislations in a bid to hail with certain strictness, the supposed transparency prospects surrounding the availing of pregnancy requirements by hospitals believed to carry out the procedure. In this regard, such reporting necessities preclude the total count of transferable embryos (Garcia, 1998, pp.625). More simply, this particular statute follows the prospects of overseeing the importance of safety in carrying out the procedure from broad dimensions (Garcia, 1998, pp.625). Safety herein encompasses the aspects of safeguarding a patients health from individual risks such as multiple births perceived as among the detrimental health concerns linked with this particular health procedure.

Statutory legislations play a core role with regards to ensuring that hospitals obey and follow the reporting guidelines always (Garcia, 1998, pp.625). Reporting of the embryos holds specific benefits to the public as one it places the public in the general knowledge of which hospitals offer the best services pertinent to the procedure (Hughes and DeJean, 2010, pp.e17). However, while such laws ensure safety, most reputable sources reveal the lacking of comprehensive legislations which deliver a full scrutiny into the practice schematics of the physicians tasked with the precarious role of carrying out the procedure (Hughes and DeJean, 2010, pp.e17). For instance, analytical perspectives have cited a lack of comprehensiveness with specific regard to the legislations appertaining assisted reproductive technology within the United States. Such deficiency in legislations prompt pose certain health risks affiliated with the procedure such as the prospects issued by multiple birth on the life of a surrogate mother, and or a patient undergoing the procedure (Hughes and DeJean, 2010, pp.e17). Therefore, for prospects, there is a need for the implementation of considerably well-articulated interventions with regards to achieving service excellence in the field of ART from broader dimensions.

Furthermore, analytical perceptions indicate that the incorporation of compulsory reporting archives have greatly benefited many states around the world as many people can now refer about the in vitro fertilizations life cycles (Hughes and DeJean, 2010, pp.e17). Only this way can proper service delivery meet the maximum threshold of excellence. An example of such legislations within the United States is the Fertility Clinic Success Rate and Certification Act issued in 1992 (Hughes and DeJean, 2010, pp.e17). The legislation hails austerity when it comes to ensuring that several hospitals around the United States post the ranges of in vitro life cycles, as well as the individual rates of patients pregnancy. While such legislations hail transparency in ART, they have led to some hospitals selectively picking patients in a bid to increase their general pregnancy outcomes.

Practice guidelines & multiple birth pregnancies

While statutory guidelines have greatly contributed to the increment and improvement in transparency observed in clinics as to the availability of individual rates of pregnancy, their influence transcends archive management and impinges on the parameters for practice (Schieve et al., 1999, pp.1836). Multiple births have constantly affected the progress of this field as some patients stand to risk their health through the supposed activity of administering multiple embryos in one cycle (Schieve et al., 1999, pp.1836). Following the grave health risk affiliated with this activity, many agencies, governmental or otherwise have come out in a bid to lobby against the act of multiple transfer of embryos per cycle of in vitro fertilization. Prior to the implementation of such legislations, as well as guidelines, many patients received more than a single embryo per cycle causing them to have triplet gestations. However, as time elapsed, many patients experienced certain health risks with regard to multiple gestations. Ideally, the health risks affiliated with multiple gestation surpass the widely known perception pertinent to mothers health risk concerns but in addition, affects the infant as well.

Analytical perspectives have recently indicated higher rates of pregnancy affiliated with the supposed in vitro fertilization in comparison to rates seen earlier dating back to ART nascence (Steptoe and Edwards, 1978, pp.366). Nonetheless, studies have also asserted that currently, ART procedure reveals a pattern of cost efficiency, and in addition, easier in achieving pregnancy compared to other modes like intrauterine insemination and administration of gonadotropins (McLernon et al., 2010, pp.c6945). Be that as it may, the higher rates of efficiency revealed by the current ART platform have subsequently led to the assimilation of multiple gestation in patients (McLernon et al., 2010, pp.c6945). Recent studies in this regard have asserted that the transfer of single embryo and a succeeding transfer of a cryopreserved embryo achieves equal rates of pregnancy as opposed to rates realized by the transference of multiple embryos, without a considerable rise in rates of pregnancy. Furthermore, the former (single embryo transfer) reveals limited maternal, as well as infant health risk concerns affiliated with multiple birth pregnancies (McLernon et al., 2010, pp.c6945). In this regard, a pattern hailing the assimilation of the former technique has more credence as opposed to the latter.

Otherwise, variation in the legislations monitoring the schematics of ART in various states has brought on a considerable controversy as many people cross borders in a bid to receive treatment of the procedure lacking in their part of the state and or province. Such a feat is called cross border reproductive care and accounts for a considerable percentage of the in vitro fertilization cycles achieved (Ferraretti et al., 2010, pp.264). Legislation variation implies that different states, as well as provinces have and thus, follow varying standards of legislation regarding the inherent ART technique allowed for patients. For instance, some states have laws defining the accepted number of transferred embryos per cycle of fertilization. Also, some legislation limit the number of cryopreserved embryos, and or the embryos fertilized per cycle.

Fiscal aspect for in vitro fertilization treatment.

Financial constraints exist as one of the many ethical challenges posited by analytical perspectives, as well as renowned organizations monitoring newfangled issues arising within the field of ART from broader dimensions (Chambers et al., 2009, pp.2287). Evidently, fiscal barriers transcend the course of many families, as well as nations (Mladovsky and Sorenson, 2010, pp.117). Fiscal disparity handicaps many people regarding the administration of ART extensively. Thus, normative trend follows a preferential treatment for couples with the necessary fiscal muscle (Ombelet et al., 2008, pp.613). Other families thus adopt the only other appertaining to crossing borders to seek affordable ART services offered in other states (Collins and Cook, 2010, pp.e25). As such, many organizations have come out to lobby against the cost effectiveness of the procedure in a bid to aid in leveling the playfield for many people in the world over (Chambers et al., 2009, pp.2287). Notably, various states have varying costs for the procedure. For instance, the rates charged for the treatment cycles within the United States varies relatively to other states and nations in the world over (Chambers et al., 2009, pp.2287). Otherwise, controversy has risen considerably in relation to the cost of ART treatment cycles perceived as adding productive members to the society thereby presenting social advantages to nations with flat growth rates.

Notably, funding structures for ART incorporated by many countries varies across nations. Some like the US lack a definitive reimbursement plan (Ombelet et al., 2008, pp.613; Omurt...

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