One of the biggest bugaboos in medicine for me continues to be the mindset and industry of “free” children, offspring born to parents who cannot afford them, forcibly supported by the taxpayers and of course, by the corrupt health care industry. In this day of easy contraception, pregnancy largely remains a voluntary medical condition, one for which those on the dole or in marginalized circumstances should not volunteer.
So let’s enjoy this Forbes headline, “Access To Fertility Treatments Should Not Be A Privilege.” The arrogance of author Jake Diner in such a statement already gives it away. His bio at page’s bottom says, “CEO at Fertility Cloud, a Digital Fertility clinic, specializing in infertility disorders,” which means this article is really a self-serving ad piece trying to grow his own bottom line.
He discusses a national 10% infertility rate, and the associated high expenses of in-vitro fertilization: “It is not uncommon for couples to run fundraising campaigns and/or take on a significant financial burden just to undergo fertility treatment. But it’s also evident that people are willing to sacrifice a lot for the joy of parenthood.” Fine, then let them sacrifice, and deal with the expense and attendant ethical questions along with their physician.
Diner attempts to start working the heartstrings like the rib zone on a heavy bag: “…the journey for those people who are struggling with fertility may begin with unrecognized health problems, it may continue with difficulties in obtaining services that often are not covered by health insurance…unsuccessful treatment has the potential to lead to possible adverse effects on the mental health and quality of life of the patients.” Pass the Kleenex, as this panhandler attempts to recruit us into protecting the mental health of people whose every wish may not be fulfilled.
There is the tried and true catchphrase right out of leading pharmaceutical ads, “Like in most other diseases, early diagnosis and treatment can drastically reduce both financial and emotional burdens…,” leading to his big-hook plea question, “So how can people access high-quality fertility care without imposing financial burdens on themselves?”
Why the hell should they??? If there are burdens to be imposed, what justifies a cheap tech peddler in encouraging others (via Big Insurance or Big Government) to pay proxy costs in order to line his pockets?
There is discussion of apps and wearable tech for cycle monitoring, as well as the need for reproductive endocrinologist telemedicine. “And only telehealth is uniquely equipped to provide access to specialty doctors for underprivileged societal groups who otherwise lack access to highly specialized care.” The past half-century of Medicaid has encouraged reproduction in “underprivileged societal groups,” and where the hell has that gotten us? And after conception, will we then be able to connect the local midwife with a tele-OB?
“Alas, talking to a reproductive endocrinologist regardless of a patient’s location can be a life (literally) saver to some.” Huh?? Have any of you heard the overhead stat page for the RE to the ICU in the middle of the night?
This ad winds up with, “Combining REI doctor video consultations with at-home kits … can provide much-needed health care for the millions who are priced and placed out of something very essential for our society — reproductive justice and life continuation.” Essential…to whom?
Justice?? This implies that there was injustice that needs to be corrected, and for – literally – my money, that injustice is the notion that others should receive any sort of bill for a child they neither chose nor conceived. From certain churches, to a bi-partisan clutch of mealy-mouth giveaway politicians, to great swaths of the population more inclined toward glandular intrusions than respect for the individual, physicians continue to allow themselves to be corrupted by any involvement with this sort of ethical fraud.