Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Troubling Aspects of Assisted Reproductive Technology, Part 1

When you start to really look into the burgeoning field of assisted reproductive technology (ART), there are so many things to get upset about that it's hard to know where to begin. There are nightmare scenarios everywhere. Lately there have been a few stories about the situation in India, where women from more affluent countries go to take advantage of a state of virtual lawlessness surrounding assisted reproductive technology. Whether you're coming from the perspective of women's health care or that of social justice, these stories have it all. Economically oppressed people selling their bodies? Check. Women on both ends making decisions without being fully informed? Check. Doctors making decisions designed to maximize their profits in the absence of legislation meant to safeguard all participants? Check. The inevitable outcome of a grossly unbalanced global economy in which health care and fertility are commodities, bought and sold and profited upon like crops? Check.