Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Octuplet Births Renew Debate on Infertility Treatment

The octuplet controversy in California focused a spotlight on the unregulated world of infertility treatments that was featured in a February 9, 2009 San Francisco Chronicle article (Octuplet Mom Was Treated at Beverly Hills Clinic). In an interview with NBC, Nadya Suleman revealed the name of the clinic who treated her, West Coast IVF Clinic in Beverly Hills. Further investigation showed that Suleman was filmed at that clinic for a 2006 Los Angeles television station story with her doctor, Michael Kamrava. That doctor is now being scrutinized by the Medical Board of California for a possible "violation of the standard of care" because six embryos were reportedly transferred to Suleman, twice the standard number of embryos for someone her age. Two of Suleman's embryos actually split, forming twins.

Review selected library titles related to the ethics of infertility treatment and human reproductive technologies at LSC-CyFair Branch Library. Click the title of a book, select the "Request" button in the listing, and enter your library card number and PIN for each title you want to reserve for pick up at the library. Call the library at 281-290-3219 to check your PIN if you do not remember it. Use these subject words and phrases to find more in the library catalog:
  • infertility
  • human in vitro fertilization
  • human reproductive technology
Reproductive Technologies book coverReproductive Technologies edited by Clay Farris Naff - Greenhaven Press, 2007
call number: 176 Rep
"Every technology has its pros and cons but reproductive technologies seem to present especially agonizing choices. For people suffering from infertility, the technologies offer . . . a chance to have a child. For critics of the technologies, they variously present a threat to the well-being of children, to motherhood, to God's will, and to the future of humanity itself . . . The authors contribute various opinions and predictions regarding this fascinating debate." - book introduction excerpt

Embryo Culture book coverEmbryo Culture: Making Babies in the Twenty-First Century by Beth Kohl - Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007
call number: 618.178 Koh
"Freelance writer Kohl here offers a part memoir, part essaylike account of her experience with IVF and its effects on culture, legal issues, and more . . . From her paranoia over her IVF-conceived daughter to her reflections on what constitutes life, Kohl eloquently shares her innermost reflections while raising important issues in a thought-provoking way. Readers in her position may find hope in her story." - Library Journal review excerpt

Everything Conceivable book coverEverything Conceivable: How Assisted Reproduction Is Changing Men, Women, and the World by Liza Mundy - Alfred A. Knopf, 2007
call number: 362.196 Mun
"Mundy, a feature writer for the Washington Post, combines a science reporter's objectivity with a mother's understanding, and she delivers her emotionally charged and often scientifically complex material in clear, bright and eminently readable prose . . . she interviews mothers, fathers, infertility doctors, surrogate mothers, egg donors, sperm donors and adult children conceived through surrogacy and in vitro fertilization. The picture that emerges is one of a social experiment so new and untested-legally, medically, ethically and socially-that it behooves us all to be as informed as possible. - Publishers Weekly review excerpt

Test Tube Babies [videorecording] produced and directed by Chana Gazit & Hilary Klotz Steinman - PBS Home Video, 2006
call number: DVD Nonfiction 618.178 Tes
"This tells the story of doctors, researchers, and hopeful couples who pushed the limits of science and triggered a technological revolution in human reproduction. In so doing, they landed at the center of a controversy whose reverberations continue to this day." - Publisher summary