Scientific honesty and credibility: the responsibility for words in the conflict over the admissibility of in vitro fertilization

Barbara Dolińska

Abstract


Public discussion around the accessibility of Artificial Reproduction Technology (ART) in Poland is not limited to considerations of the moral aspects of medical intervention into human fertility. Scientists of various disciplines get involved in these discussions as opponents to this form of procreation. Referring to research conducted all over the world, they suggest that children born thanks to the in vitro procedure are significantly more susceptible to all sorts of disease. The author, on the basis of available research data, shows that in reality worse health condition of in vitro-conceived children deals with a narrow number of well-identified disorders and in most cases is of correlative, not causative nature – mainly because weaker health of those children is usually connected with advanced age of the parents who choose IVF and their own state of health (mothers’ in particular), as compared to those who become parents in the natural way. The author also believes that loading the potential parents with anxiety about the health condition of their children should be treated as a delayed negative consequence of the ART methods application.


Keywords


birth; developmental defects; artificial reproduction technology (ART); in vitro fertilization (IVF); ethics

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