Belgian gynecologist was fined for gender selection during IVF

Belgian authorities have fined a gynecologist, who had been offering to select baby's sex for an additional payment during IVF. There were 165 couples ready to pay to the specialist to "order" a child with a particular gender. The doctor made the procedures in his illegal laboratory guaranteed success in 80% of cases. Ostensibly, he used a special technology that included "the separation of female X chromosomes in sperm cells in a centrifuge from the male Y-chromosome" (to be honest I slightly imagine the way it can be done). After that women were entered the "right" sperm. In the interview to journalists a gynecologist, said: "I had no idea that doing something illegal."

The Swedish "model" of IVF

The State Council, which advises the Swedish government on medical ethics, raised question about lifting the age limits on IVF. As we know, the Swedish health system now provides  free assistance to conceive for women whose age does not exceed 37 years, and for men under 41. Now, however, there is a question about the abolition of these restrictions.

My opinion about the upper age limit for IVF remains the same. Generally I am against the introduction of hard limits: the issue in each case should be resolved individually. However, the presence of the age limit for IVF has serious reasons for that. First thing is the physical capabilities, which, alas, do not always allow to give birth to a healthy baby after a certain age. And the second - not everyone is able to grow up this child and bring him up afterwards.

Ask your mum(s)

The following year in the UK it’s planning to consider a law allowing the IVF procedure that involves three parents. Let me remind that it started a few years ago when genetics from the University of Oregon Health had developed a technique that allowed to mix genes of three parents (mother, father, and female donor). The main purpose of this procedure is to influence the genes of the embryo, replacing the ones which conduct to serious diseases. "This method is intended to eliminate the transmission of inherited mitochondrial diseases. We would like to stop the disease, so that it passes no longer from generation to generation, "- says the lead researcher professor Doug Turnbull.

Is gender choosing in IVF permissible or not?

One of the private clinics of Barcelona, dealing with issues of family planning and reproduction, started collecting signatures for adopting a law, which would allow people to choose the sex of the child before the in vitro fertilization. Now like most European countries do, Spanish government forbids such procedures unless they are required by medical reasons.

The initiative is aimed at amend to the existing legislation and was made by the representatives of the Institute of Reproductive Technology «Cefer» back in January of this year. If the public responds to the call of the Institute of Management and authors of amendments manage to collect five thousand signatures, the initiative will be considered by the Spanish Congress. The founder of the Simon center, Marina is sure that it’s all about "the issue of freedom and democracy," and there are no reasons for the prohibition on sex selection procedures. "This is a right that does not disturb anyone," - says Mr. Marina.

Will the Swedes give their consent to the surrogacy?

As you know, now the surrogate motherhood is prohibited  in Sweden, and whether it’s necessary, Swedish couples have to ask for help abroad. Soon, however, the situation might change: the State Council, that advises Government on issues of medical ethics, says that they "do not see any reasons not to allow surrogacy and embryo donorship." President of the Council Kjell Asplund set the condition: surrogacy can only have a non-profit foundation: "We stand for, when it comes from the desire to help another person ..."

Frankly, I am a bit suspicious about surrogate motherhood on a "non-commercial" base. First, I can hardly imagine a woman who would agree to carry and give birth to another baby just for "thank you." Pregnancy is not only hard physical labor, but also serious expenses. And considering that the pregnant woman is deprived of the opportunity to work for quite a long period of time, such a "voluntary initiative" will flatten the altruist’s wallet. I suspect that in the countries where the surrogacy is non-commercial, money is simply given "in black." So here the second aspect comes- the legal one. Simply put, no money - no contract, no contract - no obligations. You can’t demand anything from a person who helps you on the altruistic basis.