The miracles of assisted conception undergo a reality check by international experts

Tough Choices

In Vitro Fertilization and the Reproductive Technologies

Search the full text of this book

edited by Patricia Stephenson and Marsden G. Wagner

"While policy makers are an important and appropriate audience for this book, anyone considering the possibility of IVF should also read the book, as should social scientists, ethicists, and others with an interest in medical technology and the ways in which it is developed and proliferates."
Judith N. Lasker, Lehigh University

In vitro fertilization (IVF), gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT), and other technologies of assisted conception have been heralded by the medical community and the media as "the answer" for infertile couples.

Tough Choices presents a forum of international voices posing critical questions:

  • What are the medical and social options for couples facing infertility?

  • What is known about the safety, costs, and benefits of reproductive technologies?

  • What is to be done about the diversion of resources away from pressing community health needs?

Tough Choices argues for a public health approach to infertility, maintaining that too little attention has been given to the social, ethical, and legal issues involved.



Introduction: Infertility and In Vitro Fertilization: Is the Tail Wagging the Dog? – Marsden G. Wagner and Patricia Stephenson

Part I: Options for Infertile Men and Women
1. Medially Assisted Conception: The State of the Art in Clinical Practice – Joseph G. Schenker
2. Social Alternatives to Infertility – Françoise Laborie

Part II: Technology Assessment
3. Technology Assessment and Infertility Care – H. David Banta
4. The Effectiveness of In Vitro Fertilization: An Epidemiological Perspective – Fiona J. Stanley and Sandra M. Webb
5. The Financial Costs of In Vitro Fertilization: An Example from Australia – Ditta Bartels
6. Health Services for Infertility: A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis from the Netherlands – Ger Haan

Part III: Risk Assessment
7. Ovulation Induction During Treatment of Infertility: An Assessment of the Risks – Patricia Stephenson
8. Physiological and Psychosocial Risks of the New Reproductive Technologies – Lene Koch
9. The Neonatologist's Experience of In Vitro Fertilization Risks – Jean-Pierre Relier, Michele Couchard, and Catherine Houn

Part IV: Law and Ethics
10. Some Legal Aspects of Modern Reproductive Technology – Sheila A.M. McLean
11. Equity and Resource Distribution in Infertility Care – Per-Gunnar Svensson and Patricia Stephenson

About the Contributors


About the Author(s)

Patricia Stephenson is Senior Researcher at the Centrum for folkhalsoforskning in Sweden.

Marsden G. Wagner is Regional Officer (retired) for Maternal and Child Health for the World Health Organization's European regional office.

Contributors: Joseph G. Schenker, Françoise Laborie, H. David Banta, Fiona J. Stanley, Sandra M. Webb, Ditta Bartels, Ger Haan, Lene Koch, Jean-Pierre Relier, Michele Couchard, Catherine Huon, Sheila A.M. McLean, Per Gunnar Svensson, and the editors.

Subject Categories

Health and Health Policy

In the series

Health, Society, and Policy, edited by Sheryl Ruzek and Irving Kenneth Zola.

No longer active.

Health, Society and Policy, edited by Sheryl Ruzek and Irving Kenneth Zola, takes a critical stance with regard to health policy and medical practice, ranging broadly in subject matter. Backlist titles include books on the legal and professional status of midwifery, the experience and regulation of kidney transplants, the evolution of federal law on architectural access, and a political/ethical argument for making the community responsible for universal access to health care.



© 2015 Temple University. All Rights Reserved. This page: