No IVF For You: Cutting Off Infertility Treatment Coverage for LGBT and Single Women
I am somewhat stunned when ethicists propose policies that discriminate against groups of people. The job of an ethicist is to hold society to a standard; to ensure that we’re comporting ourselves in a way that is just and humane. So I question when any ethicist, such as Cristina Richie, asks society to create policy that would target removing services from certain segments of the population. Such as… oh… I don’t know… proposing that fertility treatment coverage be denied to those in the LGBT community or single mothers by choice.
Richie published a paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics this week and in the abstract stated, “Second, I will recommend that policymakers eliminate funded ARTs for those who are not biologically infertile.” Why does she believe that only those who have a documented medical reason for not being able to conceive should receive the state mandated coverage (she lives in Massachusetts) of their infertility treatments?
Because she wants to create an incentive for those in the LGBT community and single women to adopt.
Since, you know, adoption is easy-peasy when you’re a lesbian or a single woman. And it costs the same amount as insurance-covered fertility treatments. And… oh… wait. I guess it’s opposite day.
I’m not sure how ethical it is for ethicists to propose that the way to tackle environmental problems is to choose two historically oppressed groups and deny them the services that other people in their state are able to utilize. Where does it stop? Is the next step for Richie to propose that only those who are able to conceive without assistance be able to build their family? And really, why should those who can have sex and create a child be allowed to have sex and create a child? Wouldn’t the world be better and the overall carbon footprint reduced if humans stopped reproducing altogether and we allowed people to die off within the next hundred years or so?
And yes, I know that there is a whole movement of people proposing that brilliant idea.
But why stop at fertility treatments? I mean, you have to allow non-smokers access to cancer treatments, but smokers? Think of the dent we could make in our carbon footprint if we told smokers that their cancer treatments weren’t covered. And why should obese men have their insurance shell out money when they have a heart attack? I mean, it would be cruel to not treat lean vegetarians, but beer-drinking, meat-eaters? They brought it upon themselves. Maybe if they knew that we weren’t going to cover their medical treatment, it would encourage people to stop smoking — which contributes to the destruction of the environment — or eat meat — which certainly affects the earth.
But that isn’t how humans treat other humans.
I guess I’m just disappointed that Richie’s proposed solution to our environmental crisis is discrimination. I expect a little more creativity and a little more humanity from those aiming to change the world.