On Monday, the Toronto Star ran an editorial about the new expert panel on infertility & adoption that was announced last week (& which I blogged about).
I'm copying the editorial here, but go online & read some of the comments that have been left… why oh why must anything to do with infertility, pregnancy loss or adoption always turn into a debate about the A word??
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Infertility and the state
Jul 14, 2008
For Ontarians who want to have a child, finding out they are infertile is an agonizing experience that can lead to years of futility and expensive treatment bills.
If in the end if they are still unable to conceive, they can run into a new wall of red tape and bureaucracy when they try to adopt.
So it is welcome news that the province has set up a 12-member expert panel to advise the government on how to make infertility treatments and adoption more accessible and affordable. Its members include adoptive parents and those with infertility problems as well as representatives from both the medical and adoption communities.
Infertility affects one in six women over the age of 30, which makes it a growing problem in an era when many people are postponing children until later in life.
The panel will have to deal with some thorny questions around who should pay for new fertility treatments, a great many of which are not currently covered by OHIP.
Between 1985 and 1994, the province paid all the costs of in-vitro fertilization. Before that time, most couples undergoing IVF were upper-middle-class professionals who could afford to pay. In the years when it was publicly funded, there was a sharp increase in the number of lower-income couples using IVF, Ontario data showed.
But troubling questions remain, including: Is infertility treatment "medically necessary," which means it must be covered by OHIP? Or is it unrealistic to expect our increasingly overburdened health-care system to pick up the costs for treatments that have a relatively low success rate?
The panel will have to weigh these questions carefully.