Canadian medical officials this week are attempting to determine if obese women should be denied assisted reproduction treatments (infertility treatments). The debate surrounds whether denying the services is medically necessary or discriminatory in nature.
Various Canadian fertility clinics already deny treatment if the patient is over a certain body mass index (BMI).
The American Society of Reproductive Medicine noted that being obese reduced the chance of fertility. The agency also realized that becoming pregnant when obese brings an increased risk of miscarriage and various birth defects.
Speaking at the gathering of medical professionals, Dr. Anthony Cheung, director of the in vitro fertilization (IVF) program at the British Columbia Women’s Centre for Reproductive Health says it is prejudicial to deny any medical treatment based on weight.
Cheung told The Globe and Mail:
“These people already know they have a problem — are you going to make it worse, add to feelings of social injustice, low self-worth, depression?”
On the other side of the argument, Dr. Arthur Leader, co-founder of the Ottawa Fertility Centre, says he will not provide treatments to females with a BMI over 35, noting:
“In other words, (overweight and obese) women are more likely to miscarry, more likely to get pregnancy-related complications that can be neurological, diabetic, high blood pressure, that can compromise their health and theoretically compromise the pregnancy.”
Should obese women be denied fertility treatments?: http://www.healthzone.ca/health/newsfeatures/article/1057248–should-obese-women-be-denied-fertility-treatments
Obese Woman at Water Park: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Obese_Woman_at_Water_Park.JPG