Birds Do It. Bees Do It. So Why Not Single Women and Lesbians?
Robinson, Bambi E.S.
Bioethics. 1997 Jul-Oct; 11(3-4): 217-227.
Infertile couples have come to take assisted reproductive technologies (ART) for granted. An increasing number of single women and lesbian couples also desire to have children and turn to ART, especially donor insemination, to fulfill this desire. While most married couples find that access to ART is limited primarily by the ability to pay, for single women and lesbian couples, the story may be much different. In the United States, they may find that doctors and infertility clinics view their desires as immoral and refuse to accept them as patients, although other doctors and clinics readily accept them. In most other countries, however, it is against the law for single women and lesbian couples to make use of ART, including donor insemination. In this paper, I will argue that marital status and sexual orientation should not serve as a barrier to accessing the world of reproductive medicine. I will base this conclusion on two arguments. First, that justice requires that we treat like cases alike. Just as we would not accept or reject patients for cardiac rehabilition programs based on factors such as a history of poor eating habits, so too we should not look at nonmedical factors such as marital status when deciding whether to treat infertility. For the second justification for the conclusion of equal access to ART, I will examine the concept of the family. I will argue that it is morally acceptable for single women and lesbian couples to have children and to head families.
Children; Discrimination; Doctors; Females; Homosexuals; Infertility; International Aspects; Justice; Law; Medicine; Parent Child Relationship; Patients; Privacy; Psychology; Refusal to Treat; Reproduction; Reproductive Medicine; Reproductive Technologies; Rights; Selection for Treatment; Single Persons; Social Discrimination; Social worth;
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