Many clinics are moving towards shared risk or money back programs for IVF. This approach is being used for couples or individuals who are facing an infertility diagnosis and are told that their best or maybe only way to address their medical issues is through an IVF procedure that may or may not work. To soften the blow for those who have a better than average prognosis, they are offered deals to refund all or part of their investment or given a flat rate for a certain number of tries. To be clear, this is not discussing a few hundreds or even a few thousand dollars. This is for tens of thousands of dollars of treatment to do one of the most arguably profound human of functions – create a life.
This financial probably has good intentions and for sure has helped many people with some piece of mind. But would this feel the same if someone had eye surgery done with an agreement that it would correct their vision or they get another free chance or money back? Would you pay upfront for the surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy as a package for your cancer? You may not need the chemo, in which case you still have peace of mind that it was an option.
The analogy may not hold in terms of outcomes and conditions, but hopefully you see the point – when did reproduction stop being about health care and become a gambling business model for hopes? Do we really want to reduce the support for our reproductive systems to financial benefit we don’t consider necessary to function? If you lost a limb, insurance would pay to replace it. There would be no gamble. No debate if your arm was necessary (even if it is your left one and you are right handed). Why not pay a lab to help out a uterus, ovary or a sperm in need? The answer is that American healthcare does not truly address reproductive health needs.
We need to stop looking at fertility as a business and starting looking at the healthcare needs and human rights of reproduction!