Is infertility a disease and does it matter?

Maung, Hane Htut (2019) Is infertility a disease and does it matter? Bioethics, 33 (1). pp. 43-53. ISSN 0269-9702

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Abstract

Claims about whether or not infertility is a disease are sometimes invoked to defend or criticize the provision of state-funded treatment for infertility. In this paper, I suggest that this strategy is problematic. By exploring infertility through key approaches to disease in the philosophy of medicine, I show that there are deep theoretical disagreements regarding what subtypes of infertility qualify as diseases. Given that infertility’s disease status remains unclear, one cannot uncontroversially justify or undermine its claim to medical treatment by claiming that it is or is not a disease. Instead of focusing on disease status, a preferable strategy to approach the debate about state-funded treatment is to explicitly address the specific ethical considerations raised by infertility. I show how this alternative strategy can be supported by a recent theoretical framework in the philosophy of medicine which avoids the problems associated with the concepts of health and disease.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Bioethics
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2700/2719
Subjects:
ID Code:
171051
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
01 Jun 2022 12:30
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 11:29