Thursday, 24 May 2012

IVF for gay couples on the NHS

I was watching the news this morning and they were discussing the issue of IVF for gay couples on the NHS. From what I have heard, they are proposing that gay couples would be able to have one cycle on the NHS, allowing artificial insemination for lesbians and a surrogate mother to carry the child of male gay couples. Although some see this as a break through and great news, it may also be seen as a strain on the NHS. There were also discussions of the NHS no longer treating patients on the basis of medical need, but on "human rights" like gay couples wanting to have children. Some people argue that the case for gay couples wanting children does not consitute a biological inability to have children, and so priority should not be given to them. Others say it is their "right" to have children, not be discriminated against because they are attracted to the same sex. Now with local authorities managing the budget, it will be interesting to see what proportion of tax revenue passed on the NHS will be used for this treatment and how successful it will be.

On the other hand, if there wasn't IVF, we wouldn't have this problem! The fact there is now IVF, and that heterosexual couples can get it on the NHS means that you cannot consistently argue that gay couples should not be given the same treatment and have a cycle on the NHS as well. This complicates matters and so there is not really much point in debating this as on one hand, IVF for more eligible parties means more strain on the NHS, but on the other hand, heterosexual and homosexual couples should be treated the same and equally as we are all human. Frnakly, in my opinion, the NHS should be treating people according to medical needs first, before things like IVF which tend not to pose an immediate life or death situation.

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