Human Exceptionalism

IVF Children More Likely to Get Cancer

Perhaps people should have listened to Leon Kass rather than deride him. A recent study shows that children born from IVF are more likely to get serious cancers. From the Daily Mail story:

Children born as a result of IVF are a third more likely to get cancer, a major study found. Scientists said those born after fertility treatments were 33 per cent more likely to have childhood cancer. They were 65 per cent more likely to develop leukaemia and 88 per cent more likely to develop cancers of the brain and central nervous system.

The study suggests fertility treatment may change the way certain genes function when they are passed from parent to child in a process known as ‘genomic imprinting’.These faults in genes are linked to childhood cancers, the Danish researchers said.

The study could not rule out that the cause of the increased health risk could be the parents’ infertility, rather than the treatments themselves. And other studies have not reached the same conclusion. 

Still, this is cause for concern. Perhaps the time has come to regulate the reproductive-industrial complex and reverse the UK’s okay for three-parent IVF (which I discuss in my current First Things column)?  

Oh, right. Sorry I brought it up. Procreative entitlement.  

Wesley J. Smith — Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.

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