“IVF cuts result in 1500 fewer babies”, The Age. In this week of 7 billion, I look at that as a positive outcome – 1500 humans not born and adding to an already overstressed environment. Government funding for IVF treatments should be stopped altogether in my view; it is an indulgence that society does not need. Some comments from the article that agree:
- We have a global population problem, local population stresses, future issues of food and security, and you want me to pay my hard earned taxes to create more babies for people who, sadly can’t have babies without assistance? I’m sorry, but no. Yes, it’s sad that you can’t achieve your God-given human right to experience pregnancy and birth, but really, IVF is a rich Western luxury. In the scheme of things, with a finite health budget, I’d much prefer money to be spent on other things. It would be much better to push for better adoption laws. People can still have babies, but you don’t need to actually carry them in your tummy to have the loving bond, the happy family, and the maternal instinct that goes with nurturing a child. (Sorry but | Melbourne – October 26, 2011, 7:59AM)
- Marvelous sense of entitlement some people have. I want a child so other people should pay for it to happen. (Quantum of Solace | Melbourne – October 26, 2011, 9:01AM)
- Tax dollars should only be used to fund medical treatment where there is a clear clinical need to improve the person’s health. IVF does not fall into this category. It is sad that some couples cannot conceive naturally, but this should not lead to an expectation that the government should fund peoples wish for a family lifestyle. (MA | Melbourne – October 26, 2011, 9:20AM)
- Fiona: I don’t have “a child of my own” and I’m not in unbearable pain and I don’t feel like I am in an inescapable hell. These are your own extreme responses to what is a relatively common natural phenomenon. The world is full of people who have successfully adjusted to the less than optimal hand nature has dealt them. You can too. Not getting what you want is hardly a reason to plunge yourself into pain and hell. People who are unable to see, hear, walk or talk have a much more legitimate claim to being miserable yet I don’t imagine many talk about their lives as painful or hellish. It is only Western women with a sense of entitlement to have their every desire met who agonise like this over infertility, at the same time as they turn their cold, selfish hearts away from the millions of children languishing in orphanages around the world due to a lack of parents. Maybe nature actually knows what it’s doing! (M T Pockets – October 26, 2011, 9:23AM)
This has meant - in contrast to the many dire predictions that over-population would result in disaster - that population growth has also coincided with far greater longevity, and a much more comfortable and materially richer life than pre-industrial man could ever have dreamt of. A key reason that massive population growth has not led to disaster has been the extraordinary growth in agricultural productivity. However, while continuing dynamism in agriculture is likely, there are some indications that these benefits are starting to slow.
It’s industrialized food production that has enabled the human population to increase so alarmingly. But it is a precarious situation – if some virus were to wipe out the world’s main cereal food crops (rice, wheat, maize) it would be disastrous. There are reserves held in many countries, but these would only last a few months.
“Africa Blossoms: A Continent On the Verge of an Agricultural Revolution”, Time magazine, 31/10. This article dismayed me as it promotes the expansion of agriculture in Africa as a positive trend – but agriculture is already putting great pressure on animal populations and the few peoples living as hunter-gatherers. Commercial farming is a disaster for these groups, as is the buy-up of land by foreign countries and corporations (a practice that should be banned – and in Australia also).
Collected letters, 24/10:
Look after our own
ASYLUM-seeker families are expected to be fast-tracked into residential housing. Also, many could be released from detention on bridging visas and sent to regional towns with labour shortages (“Off the boat and into the bush”, 16/10). However, Australia already has a chronic housing shortage, including a severe shortage of emergency and other housing for our vulnerable and most disadvantaged citizens (“$46m help for the homeless”, The Age, 6/10). Charity begins at home; our citizens must take precedence over those not yet in our society. “Asylum” under the UN Refugee Convention was never meant to be interpreted to give a right to permanent settlement and should be decoupled from other migrant streams. Once asylum seekers and their families are embedded in regional towns, the reality is that they are likely to be fast-tracked to permanent residency rather than remain on bridging visas. This policy will only add to the pull factors that are already a problem.
– ARTHUR BASSETT, Blackburn South