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Attitudes Towards Test Tube Babies

By sheley Mar 28, 2013 1659 Words
Attitudes towards Test Tube Babies

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Name of Student: Yuhan Huang (Sheley)

AE teacher: Michelle Crockford

AE Class: February 4

Abstract

The objective of this report is to present the attitudes and ideas shared by International Education Services Limited (IES) students and students from the university of Queensland (UQ) in relation to their knowledge and personal opinions concerning Invitro fertilization The survey used data collected from male and female students between the ages of 15 and 30 living in the State of Queensland. The participants were given 20 questions to answer in privacy and without any degree of pressure. The questions related to their personal details and to the IVF program in particular.

The aim of the investigation was to gather an overall point of view as to whether IVF was indeed seen as an accepted type of program among this age group.

In conclusion it is reasonable to think that another survey with an older more experienced age group would more likely give a variation in results. Because this selected age group were students, their knowledge and experience directly with IVF was limited. However, it is important to recoginse the opinions of youth as they are the future generation of adults.

Introduction

In recent years, babies conceived through in-vitro fertilization (IVF) have been a topic of moral discussion around the world. This form of reproduction is not considered a natural and acceptable way of giving birth in some people’s eyes. Many infertile couples in particular, rely on this new technology since it allows them the choice of having their baby using this method.

In-vitro fertilization is defined by, “a process by which egg cells are fertilised by sperm outside the womb (Papanikolaou et al. 2006)”.

The definition of a test tube baby is one which is the result of a female ovary or egg having been fertilised with a male sperm inside a test tube, the resulting impregnated egg is implanted in the uterus of a female, growing into a foetus and developing baby by the time of birth. (Muffin, 2007). According to Walsh (2008), three million test tube babies have been born throughout the world in this way so far, and this number continues to increase at a rate of eleven thousand each year.

In 1978, the world’s first successful “test-tube” baby, Louise Brown, was born in Great Britain. The baby girl weighed five-pound 12- ounces and was delivered early via Caesarean section. The process had been a success; this process proved Dr. Steptoe and Dr. Edwards had accomplished the first of many test tube babies (Rosenberg, 1970). In Australia, the first test tube baby, Candice Elizabeth Reed, was born in 1980 (Screen Australia, 1982).

Infertility afflicts thousand’s of married couples feeling frustration at being childless. In India, there is an infertility clinic which provides moral, emotional and the most advanced technical support for couples wishing to solve their fertility issues. However, the religion of Islam is totally against IVF and has been banned by the by Islamic Fiqh Council (1986). In addition, they thought that in-vitro fertilization was unlawful because it could result in confusion with regard to parentage (Islamic Perspective, 2007).  

Prior to the birth of the first test tube babies such as Louise Brown, people worldwide were hesitant to use this method thinking that there could be risks involved.  However, in time the health and well being of those babies born through IVF programs have proven to the world that this method is indeed safe.  Hence the fears have almost disappeared. However, many people still have many misconceptions about a test tube baby and some countries do not allow the manufacturing of test tube babies.  If a baby can be created in a test tube, then infertile couples stand a better chance of having a family then by other means. The aim of this report is to examine the attitudes of people towards the adoption of in vitro-fertilization. This paper will first discus the methodology and select the survey question from this research, then a summary of the questionnaire results will be introduced,  followed by a discussion, conclusion and recommendations.

Method

In this report, quantitative methodology was chosen for this research. Because of the complexities associated with unstructured interview technique and time constraints. A questionnaire was designed to examine the different opinions of International Education Services Limited (IES) and University of Queensland (UQ) students attitude towards the adoption of in vitro-fertilization (refer Appendix A). The main types of questions asked included; those about personal details and personal experiences together with questions on people’s points of view about in–vitro fertilization.

There were 30 students who were all volunteers. 10 out of participants were male and 20 of them were female. The students were chosen randomly from state library and UQ library all full time students between the ages of 15 to 30. Religion, political affiliation and socio-economic status were considered unimportant. Confidentiality was ensured by not recording names. Questionnaires were completed by students and the data was then collated and analysed.

The questionnaire was limited by the fact that many of the participants were too young to have had any real personal experience in dealing with IVF, however some were able to relate to friends or family who had used the IVF program successfully. Some of the participants only vaguely knew any of factual or historical knowledge about IVF. The interest that the questionnaire generated among participants and their honest and forthright answers proved to be a bonus as far as the questionnaire was concerned.

Interpretation of Results

Questions 1 and 2 were basic and asked about personal knowledge of in vitro-fertilization (IVF) and test-tube babies. The participants generally have heard about IVF. There are about 83.3% students know about this topic as can be seen in the results, the ridiculous thing is that there are five students who have never heard of IVF, but one of them knew the process involved in making a test-tube baby.

Questions 3 to 13 were probing and in-depth in order to obtain the participant’s sincere and knowledgeable reaction to each question. It was rewarding to see that so many agreed with the IVF program and its aims and benefits. In addition, a high percentage of participants were neutral about many of these questions. This could have meant that they really didn’t know a great deal about IVF or weren’t sure of the answer.

Questions 14 through to 19 extended the questioning into the sphere of Government funding. Here 70% of males and 80% of females believed that the Government should provide funding for the IVF program. 6 months to 1 year in Question 18 seems a short time time for most to choose, however this would reflect the experience of the participants. The respondents were generally concerned about this topical issue and its bearing on modern society. They all saw the positive outcome where couples could become happy and have a baby of their own. They concerned themselves with the possibility of defective babies being born. Their eagerness to be involved in the questionnaire showed the openness which they had in being part of the solution to any problem involving IVF. Because their was no influence give by other parties to participants in answering the 20 questions, it can be said that this was a survey with genuine results. Notwithstanding that there were factors which did not fit in exactly with the aim of the survey, such as the young age of some participants along with people having limited knowledge there was sufficient suitable data collected to give a commendable result. The language used in the questionnaire was understood by all participants. Key words such as: in-vitro fertilization, partially, afflicts, infertile, federal funding, prohibitive, DNA did not require any explanation, however some Asian students did request help in sentence meanings. Most people showed a basic understanding on what IVF was meant to do; that is to enable pregnancy to take place, surprisingly in the same question, number 16 very few saw any real concern for safety, acknowledging the medical competency that exist with this program.

Recommendation

As the findings have indicated, most people were concerned with couples having the need to have a baby if they so desired. It would therefore be in the interest of the “powers to be,” that Government and medical bodies proceed vigorously with greater implementation and assistance for the IVF program. Question 17 showed that most participants saw two important concerns; that of costing, and concern for babies having defects. Both government and medical procedures can overcome these potential barriers with more funding and improved research respectively. It is interesting to note that in question 13, 30% of females strongly disagreed with the concept of the IVF program producing babies as if they were some kind of commodity or product. No males registered any comment. It appears from this statistic that there is no need to educate people further on this ethical side of any argument brought forward. It can be deduced that the data obtained will in some way enlighten readers of this survey, thus strengthening the argument for a continued IVF program existing in the forefront of society for years to come. . The implications of these results are that more research needs to be carried out to provide a more comprehensive understanding of how other age groups see the IVF program. There could also be surveys done involving those of mixed ethnic backgrounds as well as those of different religions and those with ethical and moral demands. Such surveys would need to address a different kind of questioning but it would still be a recommended that can be made here.

Researches in the field of Social Science would definitely find this convincing survey beneficial in exploring the human condition surrounding the human condition, be it only for the point of view of 30 young people.

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