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European Doctors Could Limit Parenting Rights Based on Lifestyle

Do you drink? Smoke? Are you severely overweight? If so, you soon might not be able to access in vitro fertilization services if you live in Europe. Newly proposed guidelines from the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology suggest fertility doctors require a "special justification" before helping women who are severely obese, or those who drink and smoke beyond moderation.

While many of us would agree that it was irresponsible for a fertility doctor to help Nadya Suleman, who was already a mother of six, rise to Octomom fame, where do we draw the line? Should fertility doctors act as gatekeepers, preventing would-be mothers from having children based on their lifestyles?

Source: Flickr User davhor

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Veka Veka 7 years
BTW - that first paragraph is slightly sarcastic... I know that would never happen in this day and age.
Veka Veka 7 years
I think there are plenty of people in the world who should absolutely not reproduce. However, I don't think it's a black/white issue - there is definitely a lot of gray area. Pistil said what I was thinking. People should be required to pass parenting tests (IQ tests, financial stability, drug-free, functional family, etc.) before they are allowed to reproduce. To #14 and #17 - I think the overweight part refers to what spacekatgal said in post #2. As long as it wouldn't endanger the baby, I don't see why not.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
I'm okay with it.
Daisy-Doe Daisy-Doe 7 years
I have a healthy life style. I do not smoke, I do not drink alcohol, eat healthy and exercise every day. Still I am over weight. I am over weight cause I have a hormonal problem which causes me to gain weight fast and makes it really hard to lose weight. This same hormonal problem also causes fertility problems. Which also may be the reason that if other treatments won't work, I will have to chose IVF to get pregnant. When they go through with these guidelines it would mean that even though I live a healthy lifestyle but have hormonal problems that cause infertility and overweight, I would not be allowed to have a child. Maybe you should think about that for a second. That doesn't mean that in cases like for example Octo mom, it wouldn't be a good thing to check up on people's lifestyle before they allow IVF to happen. Cause that's a good thing. As far as I know that's even the case right now here in The Netherlands. But just saying "Nope, you have too much weight, you can't have babies." is just harsh.
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 7 years
I think that if a woman is going to have a child, she should kick the cigarettes, slow down on the booze and lead a healthy lifestyle while aiming for a healthy weight. I think all of that is a responsibility that mums need to take towards their children, if only to ensure a happy pregnancy and a healthy bub at the end. I think doctors should tell women to lead a healthy lifestyle in the first consult, and stress the importance of it. Doctors should also note that many lifestyle factors can cause a great deal of stress on the bub. If the women still drinks and smokes to excess and wont drop the kilos then the doctors should refuse to do the procedure.
lemamike lemamike 7 years
xgreenfairyx and anonymous # 10 - couldn't have said it better myself
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
Yep, I don't have a problem it. Not at all.
MissSushi MissSushi 7 years
Seems like the only ones they would be able to enforce would be the obese ones anyway. It would be easy to stop smoking and drinking before attempting the treatments, and then picking it back up later. Potheads do it all the time to pass drug tests for jobs. I don't agree with it because i don't agree with taking away basic rights like that. The people who have the money, time, and emotional ability to pay for these kinds of things generally aren't throwing their lives away to booze anyway. I've known 4 or 5 different couples doing IVF and all of them were pretty normal. Insurance almost never covers this sort of thing, so the people doing it REALLY want children. We aren't talking about couples having child after child living off state assistance. I think they would have a better time enriching childrens lives and health if they required drug and alcohol testing before letting people receive government assistance - this including cigarettes. If you can't afford food or life, you don't need to be shelling out 5+ bucks a pack. An ex friend of mine is living off the state of arizona. They receive cash benefits, food stamps, and WIC. They also spend upwards of 500 dollars a month on ciggs. She's pregnant again, which will bring up her benefits another couple hundred dollars for each.
sourcherries sourcherries 7 years
Wish US couterparts were as sensible and proactive about preventing future octofreaks. :siiigh: Unfortunately, we've got an inflated sense of self-worth and rights and a rabid, growing audience for freakshows.
Pistil Pistil 7 years
This makes sense to me... If someone is not physically or mentally fit to have a child (ie. Nadya, what the hell happened there?), it wouldn't be wise to allow them to go through with a fertility treatment/procedure. I think there should be some sort of license required to have children. I realize this is not ethical, but some people should just not have children.
xgreenfairyx xgreenfairyx 7 years
I say, good. You shouldn't get an expensive procedure if you're only going to be a danger to a kid. It has to stop somewhere. Childbearing isn't a RIGHT anymore...its a PRIVILEGE, especially in the case of in vitro fertilization. If you can't take care of yourself and make responsible decisions, you need to be restricted. Its just a shame they can't extend this kind of idea to all pregnancies.
boredgourdless boredgourdless 7 years
Why should a doctor help someone conceive who has a lifestyle that could threaten the fetus? On the callous side, it's flushing money if the fetus is unable to survive due to the mother's choices. On the other, the doctor has a responsibility to the health of the children. I see no problem with it, especially the smoking and the drinking beyond moderation. If you want a kid that badly, it would do you well to kick the smokes and the excessive alcohol before you go to the doctor. I imagine it will help any treatment be more successful as well. The obesity is harder. I suppose they would have to figure out a way to define "lifestyle induced" obesity as opposed to a clinical form.
schnuppi schnuppi 7 years
I guess it's a good thing to prevent kids growing up with money/publicity loving attention sl*ts but I would assume that someone who takes the steps to spend all that time and money to have a kid really does want a child and would give that child a good, loving home
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