Wednesday, July 6, 2011

World First IVF Lottery - Win A Baby!

Sometimes I discover real nuggets of stories from the global media which leave even me with very little to say and in some cases cause any potential commentary to remain lodged in my brain with no way to convey my thoughts into words.

This is one of those articles.

The British Gambling Commission has issued a licence for the world's first 'IVF Lottery' to be launched this month.

Essentially, gamblers will stand the chance to "win" a baby. The tickets will be available online at a cost of £20. The winner will walk away with £25,000 worth of fertility treatments at one of the country's top clinics.

The 'game' is certain to ignite a huge debate among people who might view it as "selling" precious human life. Already, a spokesperson for 'Comment on Reproductive Ethics' (an ethical dilemma group), Josephine Quintavalle, said, "This demeans the whole nature of human reproduction... Creation of human life should not be reduced to a public lottery. Instead of this, shouldn't more be spent on research into fertility problems?"

According to the organizers, the lottery will offer the chance to become a parent every single month, and will be open to people from all walks of life and circumstances - single, elderly and gay players will all be eligible to take part in the lotto.

To begin, there will be one draw each month, with a good chance that this could be expanded to every two weeks once the competition is underway.

Mirroring something from a reality TV show, each winner will be collected and chauffeured to the clinic, be given complimentary accommodation and will be given a mobile phone to enable them to keep in contact with medical staff at all times.

If for some reason the standard IVF fails, the winners will be offered donor eggs, reproductive surgery and if necessary even a SURROGATE birth.

The specialists at each fertility centre will use their expert clinical judgment to determine the "feasibility of each possible pregnancy".

For example, if a woman is healthy but over the age of 45 (which is the upper limit for UK NHS fertility treatment), they are likely to suggest donor eggs. Or, if a single woman or man win, they will be given donor sperm or a surrogate mum and donor embryo.

All profits from the lottery will be donated back into a charity called 'To Hatch' - an online support for childless couples and those who have trouble conceiving.

The competition is called the 'To Hatch Lottery' and if the game proves a success, tickets are expected to eventually be sold in newsagents nationwide.

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