Dr. Marcie Weiner, Clinical Director
I read an article titled, “Clinic Raffles Could Make You a Winner and, Maybe a Mother”about how fertility clinics are offering opportunities for women to compete for round of IVF. While larger fertility clinics have no problem filling their waiting rooms with women willing to spend $10,000 to $15,000 per round of IVF, smaller clinics have had a harder time competing for patients. Their “marketing” strategy has been to offer essay contests, video contests, or raffles with the prize being that one woman will win a free round of IVF.Although these contests tend to be “needs blind”, not excluding women who have insurance that will pay or who are wealthy enough to pay themselves for IVF, the hope is that it will possibly reach a woman who might not have been able to pay for it herself and will improve the visibility of the clinic. It is important to note that despite remarkable improvements in technology, the odds of becoming pregnant in a single round of IVF are about 40 percent for women under 35 and about 20 percent for those who are 40. The older a woman gets, the lower her odds of conceiving in each round of IVF. Some people question the morality of these competitions. Along with the concerns that many have already raised over the disposal/preservation of unused embryos, selective reduction, pre-implantation genetic diagnostics, sex selection etc., is added a new concern:Is it morally acceptable to have women competing for the opportunity to become a mother?What do you think?