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by Robert Ryan, B.Sc.
The propaganda with which the In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) program is sold to the general public relies on its alleged usefulness in the treatment of infertility. However, IVF has only an approximate 10% success rate. In other words, it has a 90% failure rate! (1)
Moreover, IVF is only of potential benefit to a small percentage of all infertile women; those who are unable to conceive due to faulty fallopian tubes. Very few women, however, are born with faulty fallopian tubes. The main cause of this condition is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) which is totally preventable. (2) As Williams and Gardener explain, "PID has several causes, some well understood, others less so. Infection is the basic problem - mostly venereal infections, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia." (2) In his book Mal(e)practice: How Doctors Manipulate Women, Robert Mendelsohn reports that one of the major causes of PID is the use of Intrauterine Devices (IUDs). (3)
If scientists really want to solve the problem of infertility, which the propaganda for reproductive technologies implies, then surely the priority should be to prevent infertility through research and community education about PID.
Why are resources directed to IVF, rather than to prevention? Perhaps this is because of the fame, glamour and financial profit which emanates from "whiz-bang" reproductive technologies for the pharmaceutical-medical establishment. They gain none of these through preventing infertility!
As is the case with most biotechnologies, the greatest beneficiaries in IVF are not the patients. They may endure great discomfort, false hope, depression, degrading and humiliating invasive procedures, financial burden, and the short and long-term adverse effects of the various drugs and procedures involved. The real beneficiaries in IVF are the IVF scientists and the pharmaceutical companies. Their prestige and financial profits are proportionate to the number of women they coax into the program.
One might also consider the sexual politics of (mostly male) scientists taking control of women's bodies and reproductive powers. In IVF scientists are also trying to master the fertilisation of the human egg and the growth of the human embryo without the use of a women's body. With such a dismal track record as IVF, would comparable traumatic experimental procedures be allowed to continue if the subjects were middle-aged men?
A disproportionate amount of public discussion about IVF is given to the "ethics of embryo experimentation." While not disregarding this as a matter of concern this debate actually serves as a smokecloud for the medical establishment to hide the fact that IVF is not a success and that it is the high-tech equivalent of shutting the stable gate after the horse has bolted; of trying to treat infertility after it has been caused by preventable disease. Furthermore, it omits from consideration the "ethics of experimentation on women" which is first and foremost what IVF is. The IVF procedures constitute real vivisectionist experimentation on women.
IVF is yet another instance in the grim history of medicine where the vivisectionists have achieved their ultimate goal of experimentation upon living human beings. This ideal was put forward by Claude Bernard, the father of modern vivisectionist-medical-research, when he stated, "Experimental medicine must have as its object: 1) to perform on living, healthy individuals vivisectionist and physico-chemical experiments..." (4) In other words, despite their claims otherwise, the fundamental goal of the vivisectionist philosophy is the vivisection of people. It was this mentality which led to the World-War 2 Nazi experiments on prisoners, the cold war CIA "Project Artichoke" mind control experiments, the exposure of the Marshall Islanders to nuclear radiation by the US army, and countless other crimes against humanity. How much further will we let them take this inhuman mentality in regards to IVF research?
In her book Living Laboratories Robyn Rowland (1992) reveals how some scientists propose using brain-dead women as trouble-free surrogate mothers or as human "egg farms". (1) If some IVF scientists are given their way, we could end up with the nightmare-future forewarned in Aldous Huxley's novel Brave New World. This is a world where babies are manufactured in test-tubes and laboratories and motherhood is considered a disgusting horror of the primitive past. Even if the manufacturing of babies in vitro were scientifically possible, which is doubtful, how stable would these test-tube infants be psychologically and emotionally? Can you imagine the alienation and lack of connection felt by those raised in the emotionally-barren isolation of a laboratory? Would you want to live in a world of such social misfits?
Why would anyone idealise such an inhuman, alienating world? Yet there are some IVF scientists who do! Could this callous mentality towards humanity be a result of countless desensitising experiments on non-human animals during a physician's training? In the words of Robert Mendelsohn, "By getting the students used to the shedding of innocent animal blood, they can later become tolerant of the shedding of innocent human blood." (5)
Which strikes you as a more constructive and humanitarian use of resources? To spend large sums of money experimenting on women who have become infertile through preventable disease? Or to redirect those resources to the prevention of infertility in the first place? And when one considers that hundreds of thousands of children die each year from starvation and third world diseases, which could easily be prevented with adequate sanitation and nutrition, one wonders what should the priorities of our health dollars be?
What are the true motives of IVF scientists?
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Published in the Spring 1996 issue of the CAFMR Newsletter.
Copyright 1996 by the Campaign Against Fraudulent Medical Research, www.pnc.com.au/~cafmr
This article may be copied or distributed, provided the copyright and disclaimer messages are clearly attached.
Disclaimer: This article is presented for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional or medical advice. CAFMR disclaims all liability to any person arising directly or indirectly from the use of the information provided.
1. Robyn Rowland, Living Laboratories - Women and Reproductive Technologies, Sun, Australia, 1992.
2. Bill Williams & Gisela Gardener, Men: Sex, Power and Survival, Greenhouse Publications, Australia, 1989, p. 152.
3. Robert Mendelsohn, Mal(e)practice: How Doctors Manipulate Women, Contemporary Books Inc., Chicago, 1982, pp. 125-128.
4. Claude Bernard, cited in Hans Ruesch, Slaughter of the Innocent, CIVITAS, New York, 1991, p. 358.
5. Robert Mendelsohn, in the film Hidden Crimes, SUPRESS, Pasadena, California, 1986.
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