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45 Couples Compete In Free IVF Contest — Is This 'Playing God'?

Tue, June 19, 2012 3:39pm EDT by 1 Comment
Free IVF Contest

Forty-five couples submitted heart-wrenching videos of their battles with infertility in order to win a free IVF cycle. In the end, three won. Great news for them but what about the others? A judge spoke out, saying it felt like ‘playing God.’ Do YOU agree?

The Sher Fertlity Insitute in Las Vegas, put on a controversial contest called the “I Believe Video Journal Project” where couples who were struggling with having a baby could win a shot at a free IVF treatment. Couples had to create a video detailing their trials and tribulations through infertility. Three couples out of 45 won — the rest were left heartbroken again. Is this right?

TIME magazine wrote about one winner, Melissa Costa-Lac (her emotional video below) who had three failed adoptions, five miscarriages, and the stillbirth of a full-term baby boy. When she found out she and her husband won, she was so overcome with emotion that she “pulled over to the side of the road on her drive home, put her head on the steering wheel and cried.”

It’s undoubtedly an amazing opportunity for Melissa, but what about the other couples?

When it was time to select a contest winner, judge Erica Tabke said choosing who would receive the free round of IVF and who didn’t was like “playing God,” said the report.

Judge Samantha Pfeifer an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Pennsylvania and America Society for Reproductive Medicine’s chair, said that the whole thing is just a “publicity maneuver.”

The judges decided which videos to submit to the clinic for consideration and then put the contest of Facebook for the public to choose the winner. Whoever’s video received the greatest amount of votes would win the treatment.

On the one hand, IVF can cost up to $20,000 — a hefty price tag that many would-be parents can’t afford. On the other hand, should the public be able to decide who gets to have a baby?

The TIME article was correct to beg the question: Is this contest charity or exploitation? 

Watch the video below HollyMoms, and vote! Do you think it was right for the institute to hold the contest?

— Lorraine Chow


Celebrities who struggled with infertility:

  1. Khloe Kardashian Visits Fertility Clinic — Ready For Baby With Lamar Odom
  2. Bethenney Frankel Reveals She Had A Miscarriage
  3. Jay-Z Reveals Beyonce Suffered A Miscarriage In Rap Dedicated To Daughter: Should He?