By Hwaa Irfan
Until we reach the point of acknowledging and respecting that life is not a mechanical process, but is integrated with the mind, soul and spirit, we will continue to abuse and disrespect the whole process of life and life forms, including our own.
Robert G. Edwards and Patrick Steptoe developed the in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure that produced the first “test tube baby” in 1978. As we await the impact on child health both physical and mental born as a result of genetic engineering, last December the findings of those born of infertility treatment was released by the UK Millennium Cohort Study. The study revealed that asthma is more common among children born of infertility treatment than those who are planned for and conceived naturally. That study focused on assisted reproduction technology (ART). ART is multibillion-dollar industry that in 2009 has conceived 60,000 children in a petri dish in the U.S alone from ‘fresh’ or frozen embryos.
The Oxford study arose from findings that children born of in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) are 2- 4 times more likely to have asthma, wheezing or be taking anti-asthmatics.
There are considerations in any related study pertaining to the age and state of health of parents who undergo infertility treatment. Accumulative studies have pointed to a rate of 6+% children more likely to have congenital anomalies, whereas the rate for children born normally is at 4%. A May 2012 Australian study of 309,000 Australian children, 6,163 of those conceived through ART found that birth defects occurred in 9.9% of babies conceived using ICSI, 7.0% of babies conceived using IVF that didn’t involve injection of the sperm into the egg, and 5.8% of babies conceived naturally. Overall, the researchers found a 26% increase in risk of birth defects among babies conceived using any form of ART (8% of births) compared to those naturally conceived, 6% of births.
Other consequences have as been noted including lower birth rate, preterm birth, cerebral palsy (more prevalent amongst twins), leukaemia, and perinatal death. In 2011, U.S researchers compared ‘fresh’ and frozen embryos. They found a 35% increased risk of low birth weight in children of ‘fresh’ embryos amongst 57,000 conceived from IVF 2004 -2006 as compared to frozen embryos.
Michèle Hansen of the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Australia, probably came closer to the truth when she pointed to evidence that fertility drugs changed the period of time embryos are able to implant in the wall of the uterus.
Informed wannabe parents calculate the risks against their emotions. Those emotions are exploited by the infertility treatment industry. On July 25, 2003 Louise Brown celebrated her 25th birthday. For pioneer Robert G. Edwards of the IVF treatment it was:
“. . .was a fantastic achievement but it was about more than infertility. It was also about issues like stem cells and the ethics of human conception. I wanted to find out exactly who was in charge, whether it was God Himself or whether it was scientists in the laboratory.”
But the achievements of Robert G. Edwards and Patrick Steptoe were about exploiting the emotions of childless couples, and experimenting with their fertility, to find a much needed solution for the global elite, who tend to marry into one another maintaining their own circle of power and wealth, but at the risk of their own fertility.
‘Some 10,000 – 20,000 babies [could be born every year from selected sources, while less than 500 babies per year are now being born to the men of real talent in our country What will be the eugenic effect on the race, if this same tendency grows?”
This is not just the ruminations of a science magazine, but echoes, along concern of the eugenics movement post WWI.
For today’s parents living in countries with decreasing fertility rates, and decreasing economic stability, the intentions of the past is of no concern. Neither is any question as to the growing number of children forced into a life of poverty, and homelessness as the world first GM babies are born. For today’s parents who really want to give love, there are the millions of children in want of a home languishing in orphanages in their own country. For instance those Americans who would rather adopt a Russian child than an American child, if giving love, and sharing love, and nurturing a life, what is the problem with doing all of respecting one’s own in a country that disrespects the sanctity of childhood more than any underdeveloped country.
“Love’s in need of love today, don’t delay, send it in right away!”
With that love, ones society can be healed, and the global elite would have less people to exploit in the name of their own misguided perception of their own divinity.
C. Carson, A. Sacker, Y. Kelly, M. Redshaw, J. J. Kurinczuk, M. A. Quigley. Asthma in children born after infertility treatment: findings from the UK Millennium Cohort Study. Human Reproduction, 2012; DOI: 10.1093/humrep/des398
“Children born after infertility treatment are more likely to suffer from asthma” oxfordjournals.org/news/2012/12/06/asthma.html
Halpert, J. “Altering the Primal Environment: Health Effects Associated with Assisted Reproductive Technologies” ehp.niehs.nih.gov/2012/10/altering-the-primal-environment-health-effects-associated-with-assisted-reproductive-technologies/