Assisted procreation: too little consideration for the babies?

Ethics Med. 2006 Summer;22(2):93-8.


Recent studies have revealed much higher risks of cerebral palsy and malformations in babies conceived by in vitro fertilization (IVF) than in babies conceived naturally. Here we question whether parents can legitimately accept this risk on behalf of offspring. We argue that parents can expose their baby to a risk only to preserve it from a worse possibility, and this is not the case of IVF, which is not a therapeutic tool for children because when the IVF decision is taken, the child has not yet been conceived. It is concluded that procreative techniques require considerably more research before being made available to couples.

MeSH terms

  • Congenital Abnormalities
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro / adverse effects*
  • Fertilization in Vitro / ethics*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Nervous System Diseases / etiology
  • Parents / psychology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Multiple
  • Risk Assessment*