Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Should we regulate babies?

There's some very thought-provoking discussion on assisted reproductive technologies in today's New York Times Room for Debate section.

The fertility industry in the United States is largely unregulated. This lets consumers and business people dictate what is acceptable, what is normal and what is allowable -- including the extreme cases like the one sperm donor who had 150 children. Are such situations a problem? Many other nations, like Britain, regulate the fertility industry more closely. Should the U.S. emulate them?
Personally, I think our society might benefit from a little regulation in this very least things like truth-in-advertising about the successes and problems of these technologies, requirements on practitioners' training, quality control on procedures, that sort of thing. However, I am horrified to read that to the extent that there are current FDA guidelines, they suggest that gay men should not be sperm donors unless they have been celibate for 5 years, ostensibly to prevent AIDS issues. Don't straight men get AIDS, too???