This conversation is closed.

If our mission is to help couples plan when and how much children they want, what about couples who are unable to bear children?

Why not include infertility management in the family planning programs? Imagine there is a relative cheap and simple way of treating these infertile couples, is there any argument against helping childless couples in resource-poor countries?

  • thumb

    Gail .

    • +4
    Nov 29 2012: I'm not following your reasoning. Nature has a way of lowering the population in resource-poor areas. You yourself said, in answer to Fritzie, that "problem is infections and bad health care leading to blocked tubes". Nature doesn't like to produce beyond what the environment will bear. Study of animals proves this.

    Yes, having a child is a very deep desire, but not all of us have our very deep desires met. That is part of the human condition. I desire to win a billion or so dollars in a lottery. It's a deep desire. I desire to have my only daughter come back to life. It's a very deep desire. But it's unattainable and unreasonable to expect that someone should come to my rescue.

    In a time where spiraling global population is meeting with global warming, it is thought that by 2030, (nearly 15 years from now) that 28% of the earth's population will be starving/thirsting to death. Aquifers are being polluted by mega businesses. Arable land is decreasing at a rapid rate due to poor farming practices. Our global fiscal policies, with their dependence on and support for oil reserves and their preference for the wealthy at the expense of the poor, are unsustainable, meaning that there will be no way to bring products to market if hyper-inflation (which is already planned in order to reduce the value of the public debt) will make it difficult to bring produce to market.

    Better that the cultural push to have children were to be modified, than all of us who are already here are put at further risk because someone who does not have the resources to have a child, is introduced to a replacement. The days of "fill the earth and multiply" is no longer reasonable. We have more people on earth today than the earth can sustain.

    Does this bring sorrow to childless couples? Yes, but it also brings sorrow to those who look at their children with an awareness of what is statistically guaranteed to face them.
    • thumb
      Nov 29 2012: The couple needn't necessarily be childless either in places where there are many orphans. Adoption has proved a fulfilling way of building loving families in developed countries as well.
      • thumb

        Gail .

        • +1
        Nov 29 2012: You're right, of course. I don't know where the questioner is from, but there are whole villages of orphans raising themselves in Africa due to AIDS. Were I younger, I would be there doing what I could. Then, fertile or not, I could be mother to hundreds of children or even thousands.
    • Dec 1 2012: are you saying we should let nature go his way as a general rule? Then we shouldn't have medical care at all, we shouldn'thave family planning, ! "natures way" is to have mothers die in childbirth, natures way is to kill children due to infections, etc....
      furthermore do you really think the pople in Africa are responsible for global warming????In fact it is we, in the West, who are responsible for most of the CO2 emissions, we who are accessing IVF in big numbers but telling people in resource poor countires, well, you see, just too many people on the planet, so for those who cannot have children, bad luck ,natures way!
      Do you consider winning the lottery a universal and essential aspect of human life ???
      Can you really put this on the same level with bearing children???
      • thumb

        Gail .

        • 0
        Dec 1 2012: I understand that you do not like my answer, but one must consider reality. If women are unable to bear children because they lack the resources that would provide adequate nutrition and health care, why would a responsible person work to bring a child into that kind of world. What a burden this places on the child and the parent, and having lost a child, I know the pain that comes with that.

        Do I consider winning the lottery a universal and essential aspect of human life? No, but neither do I consider childbearing an essential aspect of human life for ALL women.

        Does it matter what is causing global warming? No. What matters is that whatever the cause, within little more than 15 years, 28% of the earth's population will be starving/thirsting to death. Hardest hit today are Africa and parts of Asia, but it is expected to intensify and go global. The earth's bread-baskets are becoming more and more drought-ridden. There will not be enough food to ship to distant lands.

        There are whole villages of orphans raising themselves in Africa. Is having a child more important than being a parent to a needy child? Having had a daughter and a step--daughter, I can assure you that I never loved one more than the other.

        There is a HUGE difference between, lacking resources, watching children die of treatable infections and bringing a child into the world where there is already an absence of nutritional resources that prevent women from bearing children who, if born, stand a higher than tolerable level of deadly treatable but untreated infections.

        Medical care that treats problems is one thing. Medical care that causes problems is another. It's like the "Octomom" in America. The doctor who implanted her with 12 fertilized eggs lost his license. There was a huge outcry for criminal charges. His actions, as the actions of the mother, were considered irresponsible to the point of criminal.
        • Dec 3 2012: having children is not essential for all women, that is absolutely true but I have lived for 7 years in Africa and I have seen them, the couples who are unable to have children, never have I seen sadder people, women are chased by their husbands, family and friends, they are despised and discriminated against. In fact many of them want to die; life is nothing to them, just misery. These people are left with nothing, they cannot say oh well I will concentrate on work, nice hobbies and friends to fill my life, like we can do in the West, there is not such a thing there, there is only survival and a child helps with survival since pension schemes are non existent.
          Adoption: very good idea, and many tried this but it is culturally not accepted, many couples saw there foster child been taken away by family members after they had spent all their money on his education. Don't forget that the legal basis in these countries is not so well estabished as in the West,besides these are poor uneducated people,

          Implanting 12 embryos is a crime, but we all know that there are irresponsible people out there, but these people should not prevent us from using a medical tool which can make the lives of billion people better!
      • thumb

        Gail .

        • 0
        Dec 3 2012: What you are telling me is that there is a terrible cultural view that is causing great distress. To fix that, fix the culture - but not at the expense of helpless infants brought into a world that cannot sustain them.

        You said, "We all know that there are irresponsible people out there". Your views sound irresponsible.
  • Dec 3 2012: "fix the culture", any suggestion how to do that?
  • thumb

    Gail .

    • 0
    Dec 1 2012: I understand that you do not like my answer, but one must consider reality. If women are unable to bear children because they lack the resources that would provide adequate nutrition and health care, why would a responsible person work to bring a child into that kind of world. What a burden this places on the child and the parent, and having lost a child, I know the pain that comes with that.

    Do I consider winning the lottery a universal and essential aspect of human life? No, but neither do I consider childbearing an essential aspect of human life for ALL women.

    Does it matter what is causing global warming? No. What matters is that whatever the cause, within little more than 15 years, 28% of the earth's population will be starving/thirsting to death. Hardest hit today are Africa and parts of Asia, but it is expected to intensify and go global. The earth's bread-baskets are becoming more and more drought-ridden. There will not be enough food to ship to distant lands.

    There are whole villages of orphans raising themselves in Africa. Is having a child more important than being a parent to a needy child? Having had a daughter and a step--daughter, I can assure you that I never loved one more than the other.

    There is a HUGE difference between letting children die of treatable infections and bringing a child into the world where there is already an absence of nutritional resources that prevent women from bearing children who, if born, stand a higher than tolerable level of deadly treatable but untreated infections.

    Medical care that treats problems is one thing. Medical care that causes problems is another. It's like the "Octomom" in America. The doctor who implanted her with 12 fertilized eggs lost his license. There was a huge outcry for criminal charges. His actions, as the actions of the mother, were considered irresponsible to the point of criminal.
  • thumb
    Nov 28 2012: Are you aware of cheap and simple ways of treating infertility? I was under the impression that these treatments are extremely expensive.

    You might ask whether adoption could be part of the mix in a place with many orphaned children.
    • Nov 28 2012: adoption could be one of the options but having a child remains a very deep desire. It just surprises me how the problem of infertility is completely ignored in the resource poor countries, it is a very prevalent problem, causing enormous suffering. Access to family planning (=contraceptives) is a very important aim if we want to improve lives of many women and couples all over the world but for those who cannot have any children family planning is also necessary, family planning in the true sense of the word: planning a family. Even if fertility treatment is expensive (although it might become much cheaper) at least people could receive investigations and counseling in the family planning clinics. it would be a much more humane and patient-friendly way of delivering family planning in developing countries and it might turn out to make contraceptives much more acceptable as well.
      • thumb
        Nov 28 2012: If you are investigating this with an eye toward action, I strongly suggest you look into the cost of treatment at the start and also consider whether it improves the quality of life to be counseled as to options one cannot afford and that will not be subsidized.

        Do you have any data to support your statement that infertility is a very prevalent problem in the developing world? I had thought infertility was much more of a problem in cultures in which families delay having a family until the potential mother is older than prime child-bearing years. But then, I know next to nothing about this.

        Are you counting among these cases that involve enormous suffering a mother who already has several kids but would like more?
        • Nov 29 2012: I do know something about the subject since I made a doctoral thesis on this. Prevalence is between 8 en 20 %, as much as and in some regions higher then western world, problem is infections and bad health care leading to blocked tubes. As you mention it , there is no awareness about the problem in global community, that is a shame!