Encyclopedia of Reproductive Technologies

By Annette Burfoot | Go to book overview

forty-seven
Selection and
Assessment for
Treatment

KEN DANIELS

Not all couples or individuals who wish to utilize advanced infertility technologies can do so. Access may be restricted by what can be termed global factors. These include resource allocation and funding for the technologies, the availability of information to couples experiencing infertility, cost, geography, and gender. Access may also be restricted by selection. It is frequently the providers of the services who determine access; they decide who will gain admissions to their programs. In effect, the medical profession is privileged to decide who is fit for parenthood by the simple act of determining who is eligible for infertility services. In terms of gender, most of the specialists working in this field are male, which may affect access for single women and lesbians.

Selection may also be examined in terms of the formal and informal criteria applied. Within the former are the legislative guidelines that have been propagated. Knoppers and LeBris, in their comprehensive international survey of committee and commission reports and legislation ( 1991), found a consensus that access to fertilization techniques should be limited to heterosexual married couples or those living in stable unions. Marital status is the most prominent factor in selection.

The Warnock Report, produced in the United Kingdom ( Warnock Committee 1984), states that it is immoral to allow a child to be created

-265-

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