The Curmudgeon


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Genesis, Inc.

Breeders, and a fortiori frustrated middle-class breeders, are neither the most thoughtful persons in the world nor the least self-pitying; hence this dubious celebration of the first test-tube baby's fortieth birthday. We are also approaching the fortieth birthday of the Thatcher régime and its defining genetic pattern of profiteering and privatisation; yet still some sheltered people are shocked to discover that private corporations deal in business transactions. Whatever is being bought and sold, be it gardening manure, fried chicken or the opportunity for a Guardian reader to perpetuate a favourite biopolymer, the object and legal obligation of a private company is to take as much as can be got for as little as can be got away with. Even for a frustrated middle-class breeder, it is quite an achievement not to have noticed that by now. Those who prefer to be sat down and asked, "Have you really thought about why you are doing this? What are the options? Where are you with your partner? Can you afford it? What’s going to happen if it doesn’t work?" might perhaps be better off considering adoption or fostering, where a few shreds of outmoded red tape may still remain in place, and which have the additional advantage of the chance to relieve existing troubles, rather than the certainty of birthing new ones.


  • At 11:50 pm , Blogger Emma said...

    IVF drives me out of my mind. I don't know why it exists. I get yelled at a lot by other feminists for failing to support the innate right wealthy white people have to pass their flawed genes on to biological children — this is basically all "assisted reproductive technology" is, as far as I can tell — but people that stupid shouldn't be taken seriously anyway. Can you imagine the caliber of mind that thinks it has to eject an infant out of its genitals in order qualify as a complete human being? A real woman? A good mother? Or, even worse, a person who only wants to be a mother if she can nurture a replica of herself? I'm actually getting angry.

    The idiot in that article also angers me. The only not-bad thing the IVF clinic did there was ask her practical questions about her level of psychological/financial resilience. How was any of that 'brutal'? What did she expect? You have to answer questions about your life and your finances in order to adopt a dog out of an animal shelter, but this person thinks doctors should just allow any lunatic off the street to waste tens of thousands of dollars in the arduous, pointless creation of human life without first inquiring about the petitioner's mental state or ability to care for offspring? Jesus Christ, I have to stop.

  • At 1:07 pm , Blogger Philip said...

    I think the red fog of your justifiable rage may have obscured the true fatuity of her complaint. What she found brutal was that the IVF merchants did not ask her about her psychological and financial suitability. They just sold her what she was paying for, which was simply too awful of them.

  • At 4:38 pm , Blogger Emma said...

    So diplomatic! Excellent. I wish I were that digitally tactful.

    You know, you're right. Because of the way our healthcare system is arranged in the US, it didn't occur to me that someone would be objecting to the fact that the procedure was being done for profit. Why else would it be done? It doesn't benefit society in any way, or relieve suffering, or ameliorate any kind of illness or medical condition or mental health concern. In a fit of contrition, I also read Kennedy's original piece — just in case I was completely wrong about everything and had to rethink my whole life. But no, no, luckily it was all totally horrifying. ART has "become" a money-making racket, has it? What was it before? Was there a time when the UK government paid women to be artificially inseminated with embryos that have their mother's chin and their uncle Frank's incipient atherosclerosis, while also subsidizing the children's upbringing, while also monitoring the mothers' own psychological comfort? I looked at Louise Brown's Wikipedia entry, but couldn't tell if she'd been a gift from the state or not. I'm kind of worried about it.

    I actually don't have any kind of substantive criticism now, because the entire thought-process exists in a reality unlike any I have ever been exposed to. I suddenly feel as though I have unplumbed depths of libertarianism bubbling to the surface, like something out of a Lovecraft story.

    Kennedy recalled going in for treatment in a state of "blind panic and emotional chaos", which she said was common for most people.
    The perfect state of mind in which to (expensively) conceive a child.

    Kennedy... is also a novelist and screenwriter who is to adapt Iris Murdoch's The Sea, The Sea for BBC television.
    Oh my god. What did Iris Murdoch ever do to anybody? If Kennedy really wanted to do something helpful, she'd donate her embryos' unused stem cells to Alzheimer's researchers.

    This is more than I ever wanted to have to say about IVF; I apologize. That's what comes of not reading to the end, I guess.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home