Want to win a baby? Head to Britain

In Britain, critics argue over an in-vitro fertilization lottery which they call "demeaning".
Written by Stacy Lipson, Contributor

For women that are struggling to get pregnant, the choice to undergo therapy or treatment is an agonizing process. There are no words to describe the pain and emotional anguish that these women are forced to face. And no matter what choice is decided, the decision to make any choice at all is a silent battle.

According to Sky News, an IVF lottery by a U.K charity called To Hatch is offering a lottery for anyone that wishes to be a prospective parent. Sky News reported:

The Gambling Commission has granted a licence to charity To Hatch, tickets for the controversial game will be sold online at $32 (£20) each and a winner selected every month. The lottery begins on July 30 and those entering could win $40,000 (£25,000) worth of tailor-made fertility treatments at one of the country's top clinics.

It will not just be limited to couples - single, gay and elderly players will also be able to take part.

Critics across the globe have condemned the lottery, and medical groups from the U.K. and the U.S. worry that the lottery may take advantage of prospective parents.

Reporting from Reuters said:

The sweepstakes, set to launch this month, is drawing criticism by some ethical and medical groups who say it is “demeaning."

In a prepared statement, Allison McTavish, Secretary of the British Fertility, said:

The British Fertility Society is very troubled by the announcement that the charity “To Hatch” is about to launch an IVF lottery. Although access to effective fertility treatment on the NHS remains patchy, and expensive for those who take the private route, we cannot condone this kind of activity. A competition like this, where only the lucky few will be given the chance to start a family, mirrors the “postcode lottery” of IVF provision on the NHS and is equally unfair. We urge Primary Care Trusts across the country to provide the full three cycles of IVF in line with NICE guidelines. Infertility affects one in seven couples in the UK, and providing fair access to IVF on the NHS would relieve the distress experienced by many infertile couples and prevent highly suspect activities such as this lottery from getting off the ground.”

Camille Strachan, founder and chair of To Hatch, was unavailable for comment.

Tell us your thoughts: Do you think this lottery is ethical? Should British residents be allowed to participate in the lottery?

Image: Flickr/Christina Rutz

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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