The world market for IVF and IVF products will grow from US$8.4 billion this year to $12.5 billion on 2022, according to a report from a market research company.
Research and Markets says that “Factors driving growth in the market are increasing number of cases of infertility owing to lifestyle changes involving unhealthy nutritional habits, penetration of advanced procedures in developing nations, and favorable government initiatives. Geographically, Asia-Pacific is expected to witness the highest growth owing to rising aging population in Japan, favorable childbearing policies in China and rising awareness in countries like India, South Korea, and Thailand.”
Demand for IVF is growing at about 10% annually, owing to rising awareness and social acceptability. Infertility is not just a Western problem, with about 25% of couples in developing countries affected by it, according to the World Health Organisation. An article in PLOS says that in 2010, about 48.5 million couples worldwide were infertile.
A State Senator in Hawaii, Breene Harimoto gave an emotional address this week to persuade his colleagues to vote against a bill for legalising physician-assisted suicide for the terminally ill. He said that in 2015 he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which has a low survival rate and can be quite painful. But he was cured. “It is a miracle that I am still alive,” he said.
His point was that “terminal illness” is almost meaningless. Margaret Dore, a Seattle lawyer who lobbied against the bill, recalls an even more dramatic incident. “A few years ago, I was met at the airport by a man who at age 18 or 19 had been diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) and given 3 to 5 years to live, at which time he would die by paralysis. His diagnosis had been confirmed by the Mayo Clinic. When he met me at the airport, he was 74 years old. The disease progression had stopped on its own."
If Senator Harimoto or Ms Dore’s friend had the option of assisted suicide, they might stopped fighting their disease and chosen a quick death. They would have chopped decades off their lives. “Terminal illness” is a pillar of assisted suicide legislation – and it just doesn’t make sense.
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