| BioEdge | Sunday, June 18, 2017 |
A growing number of Silicon Valley companies are paying for their employees to “freeze their eggs”. Companies from Apple and Facebook to Time Warner, Uber and Yahoo will pay for their female employees to visit IVF clinics and have their unfertilized eggs stored for the future, in what some say is a bid by companies to keep “young women at work producing for the company.”
The procedure isn’t cheap. Each cycle costs around $10,000-$12,000, plus $800 per year for “storage”. Yet estimates suggest that 5% of large employers in the US now cover egg freezing in their employee health plans.
"In 2016 we introduced a cryopreservation benefit that covers the freezing, storage and thawing of oocytes [egg cells], sperm and embryos," said Carolyn Clark, Yahoo's head of global internal communications. "Cryopreservation is part of a suite of family benefits that Yahoo offers, including generous parental leave program, infertility benefits, adoption assistance and more."
Yet the booming egg-freezing industry has its sceptics. “There is so much positivity about egg freezing,” Brigitte Adams, who runs an online egg-freezing information forum, recently told The Telegraph. “I am pro the idea, but there is not a lot of realism. Egg freezing is highly marketed – and not all doctors are being transparent with the data.”A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that egg freezing may actually reduce a woman’s odds of success with IVF.
Sunday, June 18, 2017
A Massachusetts woman has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in a case which was reported across the United States and could affect the debate about assisted suicide.
In 2014 Michelle Carter, then 17, used phone calls and text messages to bully her boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, 18, into asphyxiating himself in his car.
Their relationship was a bizarre one. Although they lived only an hour away from each other, they met in Florida on family holidays. Thereafter they only met each other a handful of times. But they texted each other incessantly, especially about Roy’s desire to kill himself. Ms Carter encouraged him.
However, when he was sitting in his car and the fumes were building up, he got out, clearly wanting to live. She instructed him to get back in. He did and he died.
There are two schools of thought about Ms Carter’s bullying. Most people would agree with the judge that she had a duty to try to save Roy’s life and acted in a “wanton and reckless” manner.
But others, while acknowledging that her words were reprehensible, point out that Massachusetts has no law against assisted suicide and that words are not bullets. They argue that her incitement was protected free speech.
The American Civil Liberties Union has yet another reason why Ms Carter should have been acquitted: “If allowed to stand, Ms. Carter’s conviction could chill important and worthwhile end-of-life discussions between loved ones.” In other words, this throws sand in the gears of legalising assisted suicide.
What do you think?
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