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Effects of infertility

Vol. 6, No. 2 / February 2007

In “How to treat depression, stress associated with infertility treatment” (Current Psychiatry, October 2006), the authors refer to problems associated with infertility—including adverse psychological sequelae.

The authors, however, make only passing reference to potential problems and adverse psychological effects of infertility treatment—including hyperovulatory drugs; destruction, wasting, or freezing human embryos; multifetal pregnancy reduction; and the risk of prematurity for babies conceived through in vitro fertilization nor do they mention the inherent problem with many assisted reproductive technologies that treat the product of conception as a commodity rather than a person. This perception fosters a culture that says children are a “right” in the fertility clinic and a “burden” in the abortion clinic.

The authors contrast doctrinal dictates with the dreams of prospective parents without alluding to the fact that moral rules serve as principles of human conduct to prevent the adverse psychological and spiritual consequences of immoral behavior.

Thomas K. Nelson, MD
Assistant professor of psychiatry
Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
Scottsdale, AZ

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