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MoneySaving Poll: Should the NHS pay for IVF treatments?

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  • BabyMaybe
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    Absolutely right, HBS.

    What a lot of people seem to overlook is that ANYONE could adopt as their primary way to get children - not just the infertile.
  • tastyfish
    tastyfish Posts: 79 Forumite
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    edited 12 November 2015 at 3:16PM
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    I think the detailed post by BabyMaybe sums up everything I wanted to say (so thank you!).

    Just a few other things to add:

    Infertility is a condition recognised by the World Health Organisation and in most cases the cause is natural. Most cancers are naturally-occurring so are people saying we shouldn't fund the treatment of that either?

    The NHS funds the treatment of many self-inflicted conditions as a result of obesity, smoking, alcohol, public disorder - so, those of you who are anti-IVF I'd like to know if you support the treatment of these.

    There are many people who give birth 'naturally' and are terrible parents and probably shouldn't be allowed to breed. There are many brilliant parents who cannot conceive. IVF is a lengthy process and requires a great deal of commitment and sacrifice - it is probably not something that is undertaken by anyone not serious about parenting.

    We had IVF a few years ago and have the most amazing twins. I've never claimed a penny off the state until IVF and pay in tax each year more than some people earn. Why shouldn't I get something back - for all of the reasons above?
  • Hoopie1
    Hoopie1 Posts: 1,254 Forumite
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    Tastyfish - I think there are a lot of things in your post that need to be dealt with separately.

    1) I don't think you can conflate cancer and infertility. One is life threatening, the other is not.
    2) The NHS appears to me to operate based on principal that you get treatment irrespective of whether it was self-inflicted or not. Also, in the case of smokers, they pay high levels of taxes on cigarettes and die earlier, so they burden the pension system less.
    3) I agree that it is grossly unfair that many can produce children that they don't seem too keen on looking after, where as those that seem likely to be excellent parents sometimes cannot. It is sad, but short of neutering parents, I don't really see a solution.
    4) Again, the state/NHS don't seem to work on a model of you getting more out if you put more in.

    I agree that morally there is a case for the NHS providing IVF. Financially, I fear that the case for it is much weaker.
  • POPPYOSCAR
    POPPYOSCAR Posts: 14,897 Forumite
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    In an ideal world I would agree to NHS funding but as there are so many demands on the service I feel the funds should be spent on the people already here who need the care, sometimes to keep them alive.
  • alittle2
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    I joined MSE to learn of the best ways to save money, and to be honest its been brilliant in that respect.
    I really don't think it should be a political forum voting on where the NHS should spend its money. I'm really lucky to be the father of three gorgeous girls but I know of many other childless couples who struggle to conceive through no fault of their own.
    The NHS funds many treatments, many of which are non "essential" so why pick specifically on IVF as a forum discussion.
    Personally, I think it is a bit tasteless and Martin I'm surprised and disgusted you've chosen such a topic.
    What will be your next discussion?
    Perhaps "Which forms of cancer should we agree funding for?"
  • marleyboy
    marleyboy Posts: 16,698 Forumite
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    alittle2 wrote: »
    I joined MSE to learn of the best ways to save money, and to be honest its been brilliant in that respect.
    I really don't think it should be a political forum voting on where the NHS should spend its money. I'm really lucky to be the father of three gorgeous girls but I know of many other childless couples who struggle to conceive through no fault of their own.
    The NHS funds many treatments, many of which are non "essential" so why pick specifically on IVF as a forum discussion.
    Personally, I think it is a bit tasteless and Martin I'm surprised and disgusted you've chosen such a topic.
    What will be your next discussion?
    Perhaps "Which forms of cancer should we agree funding for?"
    To be fair and frank, this is nowhere near being a political vote, it is members of the general public having a debate on the subject. I dont think Martin chose the subject, a member of the public did and did so on a completely open and public forum, placed specifically in the MSE POLLS thread.

    If you joined specifically for tips in saving money, MSE has kindly placed such tips in the relevant thread to your topic.

    Somebody may well post a thread asking about various cancer funding, there is nothing to stop them and no reason why they shouldn't. One would hope it would be posted in the relevant health thread.

    As may be the case, nobody is forcing you to read it or contribute towards it, if you don't like a particular topic or discussion, you are completely free to peruse the many other topics on MSE, in the vast array of relevant threads for you to contribute, read or completely ignore. ;)
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  • missbiggles1
    missbiggles1 Posts: 17,481 Forumite
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    And please remember that it is not only the woman who may suffer depression particularly, but not only, if the cause of infertility is male related.

    I tried not to wade in on this debate as it gets very emotive and everybody has different views on what is necessary treatment but in my role as an HR manager I have seen people become severely depressed and debilitated due to infertility - one to the point of being suicidal so to suggest IVF is a luxury is, to me, very offensive. People don't choose to be infertile anymore than they chose to develop other medical conditions.

    We had three unsuccessful cycles of IVF (1 self funded, 2 NHS) and unless you are in that boat you have no idea how painful infertility is. You are constantly reminded everyday because life goes on for everyone else and therefore there are pregnant people and babies everywhere.

    It also irritates me that people band about adoption as the alternative (particularly when it is inferred or even said outright that infertile people are selfish not to adopt instead of having IVF). As so eloquently put by BabyMaybe it is not the solution and not an easy or even always available choice either. Without previous parenting experience (or indeed any nieces or nephews) we didn't feel we had the capacity to successfully adopt a child who through their earlier life experiences before adoption can have quite complex support needs. Perhaps if we had been successful conceiving via IVF we might have felt able to consider adoption but we will never know.

    As someone who's childless and not through choice, I feel that I have the right to say that IVF's a luxury that can't be afforded, which is one of the reasons we didn't investigate that route.

    I've also gone through the adoption process because I knew and accepted that my needs are not the be all and end all when there are children around with no families of their own. It never occurred to me to make excuses as to why that wouldn't be a possible and desirable thing to do.
  • Alikay
    Alikay Posts: 5,147 Forumite
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    Seems harsh on the infertile to deny NHS IVF treatment, especially when drug addicts, the obese and heavy smokers get their healthcare provided free, but unfortunately there's a limited pot of money. It would probably be more realistic and fair for the NHS to offer IVF at cost, rather than people needing it having to shell out for treatment at a private clinic.
  • Hoopie1
    Hoopie1 Posts: 1,254 Forumite
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    Alikay wrote: »
    Seems harsh on the infertile to deny NHS IVF treatment, especially when drug addicts, the obese and heavy smokers get their healthcare provided free, but unfortunately there's a limited pot of money. It would probably be more realistic and fair for the NHS to offer IVF at cost, rather than people needing it having to shell out for treatment at a private clinic.

    The only issue with doing that is that you'll put the private clinics out of business. Many won't care about that, but I think you need to limit how much you will do at cost or have some criteria that'll stop people swamping that service.
  • Alikay
    Alikay Posts: 5,147 Forumite
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    Hoopie1 wrote: »
    The only issue with doing that is that you'll put the private clinics out of business. Many won't care about that, but I think you need to limit how much you will do at cost or have some criteria that'll stop people swamping that service.

    I would expect "cost" to include staffing and provision of facilities rather than just drugs and lab equipment so theoretically the service could grow to accommodate patient numbers. It would be a kind of not-for-profit form of private treatment.
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