A commenter to this blog disagrees with my take on insurance coverage for infertility patients:
While I am very sorry to hear this woman’s story, I remain opposed to mandating fertility treatments. As this writer acknowledges, infertility treatments cost tens of thousands of dollars. Somehow this woman believes that her natural right to have a family translates into a “natural” right to have insurance companies and everyone who purhcases insurance pay for that decision. Though early menopause is a tragedy, it is not a matter of life or death. This woman is not dying or suffering from a debilitating disease, though she is certainly suffering from an emotional disappointment. She is unable to reproduce without the help of technology, but that does not mean she has a right to that technology.
I cannot help but think that if a woman cannot afford fertility treatment wihout insurance and her husband is also out of work, then getting pregnant and rearing children may be a selfish, impractical decision. We live in a culture that holds an almost religious belief in parenthood, particularly biological parenthood. This woman seems to have fully bought into this belief system. Some of you may find my comments insensitive. I don’t mean to be insensitive, but I don’t believe an inability to give birth is a legitimate medical problem. This woman wants children in order to feel better about herself, in order to alleviate her sadness, and in order to fulfill her life’s ambition. She does not want fertility treatments because she will die or suffer unbearable physical pain without them. I simply believe that insurance should be for things that are directly related to alleviating physical suffering and premature death brought on by bodily illness and disease.
Pre-mature menopause may be classified as an official disease, but women can find other means to have children. If we don’t mandate insurance coverage for cosmetic procedures, which can certainly improve an individual’s feelings of self worth and esteem, then we should not be mandating fertility treatments which also do the same thing.
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