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women exploited... again

By Diogenes (articles ) | Oct 07, 2005

If you're an American doctor specializing in in vitro fertilization, you're judged on one statistic: how many of your patients achieve a successful pregnancy. If lots of women get pregnant, lots more women come to your clinic, and they put lots of money into your bank account.

Simple enough, right? Wrong.

What your potential clients don't know is whether you have implanted one, or two, or three, or more embryos into the wombs of previous clients. If you use multiple embryos, naturally you increase the odds of a viable pregnancy. The success rate is the all-important index; the embryos that die don't show up in the statistics.

But here's the catch: The more embryos you implant, the greater the chance for a multiple pregnancy. So in vitro clinics in the US are producing spectacular numbers of twins, triplets, quadruplets, and more. A previously childless woman who suddenly becomes the mother of 5 babies has a whole lot of problems on her hands. But the doctor responsible for her condition has no worries at all-- as long as her check clears. He is-- you understand-- sensitive to women's needs.

The Wall Street Journal exposes the problem (in an article which is unfortunately available only to subscribers.)

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