Wednesday, July 6, 2011

How many of you play the Lotto

How many of you play the Lotto? Why not eh, a measly £1 for the chance to win millions is worth the gamble. But what if the prize was becoming a parent? A monthly lottery has just been licensed by the Gambling Commission in which the winner will be given £25k of fertility treatment at a top UK clinic. There are no restrictions on entry; sexuality, gender, age, marital status etc and the winner will allegedly be ‘whisked away’ to the clinic to discuss possible options which could include standard IVF, donor eggs, surrogacy or reproductive surgery.

The scheme will undoubtedly cause uproar among people who’ll plead immorality or devaluation of human life and of course those who think that IVF is playing god anyway however it’s always good to look at both sides of the debate isn’t it. All of the articles I’ve read about it so far have pitched it as “£20 to win a baby” or something along those lines however I’m inclined to think they’re approaching it from the wrong side of the playing field.

Winners aren’t guaranteed to ‘win a baby’ from the treatment therefore it’s still a [biological] lottery. What they win is the opportunity to try, and with a round of IVF costing upwards of £5k then for many it really could be the chance of a lifetime.

I’ve seen a couple go through round after round of fertility treatment desperate for it to work only to have no joy and then run out of money and be unable to try again. Is this latest addition to the gambling scene not just a sign of the times; there are countless tv programmes now which offer out cosmetic treatments to people like sweets in a bid to get them looking (and feeling?) better and/or younger and few really complain about it. But that’s all superficial, this is about giving people the opportunity to engage in one of the most natural and beautiful experiences of humanity... Isn’t it?

But then what about those children who are born to parents who either don’t want them or for some other reason simply can’t look after them, should we be concentrating efforts on providing stable loving adoptive homes for those children before dipping into Arthur, Lancelot or Guinevere for the next magic baby-making number?

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