A Rant about Infertile Whiners

When you see beyond yourself
Then you may find
Peace of mind
Is waiting there

The Beatles, "Within You Without You"

On 1998-11-10, National Public Radio's show Morning Edition aired a story about infertile people who were trying to get infertility treatments covered by their health insurers. Three couples were profiled. Two had expenses of more than $20,000. One infertile man claimed not only that he had a disability, but that he was diseased.

A member of the advocacy group RESOLVE was interviewed, and said that having infertility treatment covered by all health insurers was "an issue of fairness".

I beg to differ. Infertility does not impair one's life in any physical manner. The only effect it has is to prevent someone from obtaining something they want but do not need. If it's the responsibility of health insurers to provide me with things I really want, then they should be giving me a house sometime soon.

And just where does this guy who can spend tens of thousands of dollars get off calling himself disabled and diseased? Open your eyes and take a look around you, buddy. There are plenty of people with conditions such as AIDS, Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, et cetera, not to mention homelessness. These are people who deserve our sympathy - and health insurance. Stop trying to picture yourself as a victim of circumstance and get on with your life. So you can't have children - big deal. It's not as if you can't adopt.

My sympathy knows bounds, and you folks don't merit it at all. People who want children and can't have them get some sympathy. But when you want me to pay for your children... well, I'll make you a deal. I'll pay for your infertility treatment if you cure AIDS, cancer, high blood pressure, depression, diabetes and cystic fibrosis first. You know, the diseases that affect people.

Two days after the initial story, Morning Edition aired a response from a listener. That man had two children who were brothers. They were also adopted. That man had looked beyond himself and created joy for three people, rather than wallowing in misery.


1999-03-21. This page has suddenly been noticed, and engendered a flurry of email. I wrote a response to it.

Last updated 25 May 2002
All contents ©1998-2002 Mark L. Irons

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