Test Tube Babies
- Episode aired Oct 23, 2006
The world's first successful in-vitro fertilization takes place in Great Britain resulting in a live birth on July 25,1978.The world's first successful in-vitro fertilization takes place in Great Britain resulting in a live birth on July 25,1978.The world's first successful in-vitro fertilization takes place in Great Britain resulting in a live birth on July 25,1978.
The film begins with a history if in-vitro fertilization. I was really surprised how early the research into all this began--decades before such procedures succeeded on the first human patients. However, oddly, the research was soon abandoned and forgotten. Then, almost three decades later it was resuscitated and soon the first so-called 'test tube babies' were born. This portion of the film was fascinating and very compelling.
What bothered me, then, was that instead of talking about the implications of the procedures, the film just ended by making a statement that millions of babies owe their existence to the procedure. But what about the implications--and I am NOT talking, necessarily, about the moral implications but the practical ones. What is the actual cost of such procedures (it's actually very high and with relatively low success rates)? Does insurance pay for it? And, when it does, could the money be better spent elsewhere considering the low success rates? If medicine is socialized, will the government pay for these procedures? What is the emotion and physical toll of the infertility procedures on the patient and her family? In what situations is IVF more likely to succeed and in which is it less likely to succeed? Is it moral to do these procedures with ALL patients? What if the patients are elderly or in a bad marriage? Many more questions come to mind--and none of them are addressed in any meaningful way in the film. Instead, it plays more like a strong endorsement of the procedures--like it was sponsored by the doctors themselves. How can you talk about infertility and not talk about any of this? Just my two-cents worth...
- Nov 19, 2011