Irving Comments: Dr. Stojkovic and IVF Serbia

Irving News Comments
Letter to the Editor
January 25, 2008
Reproduced with Permission

Dr. Miodrag Stojkovic's efforts to bring IVF to Serbia should be closely scrutinized by the government and by the people for any possible violations of a woman's informed consent.

True informed consent requires that the woman be fully and completely informed scientifically of the accurate nature of both the scientific techniques used, and of their immediate products. Unfortunately, for too many years many researchers in IVF clinics have knowingly mislead their vulnerable and desperate clients in ways that would negate (legally and morally) the ability of women to give true informed consent.

For example, it is not true that somatic cell nuclear transfer is the only kind of human cloning. One can also clone humans by means of germ line cell nuclear transfer, "twinning" (blastomere separation, blastocyst splitting), pronuclei transfer, parthenogenesis, and by the use of other genetic engineering techniques such as those involving artificial genes, artificial chromosomes, artificial nuclei, artificial embryos, etc. Yet often these other kinds of cloning are not acknowledged as such in informed consent forms, and all possible harmful consequences disclosed.

Again, the "liberated" woman is often erroneously told that the immediate products of these techniques are just a "bunch of cells", rather than admit the truth to them that these are new genetically unique single-cell human beings, human organisms -- human embryos. When such pseudo-science and pseudo-medicine are inflicted on women whose informed consent is (or should be) required before proceeding with such IVF procedures, these woman are automatically incapable of giving true informed consent and their inherent dignity is grossly violated. And how does any woman really know precisely what it is that the IVF researcher is implanting in her; what legal and medical standards will be fully enforced; who will pay for any physical damage caused to her; who will be legally liable? You are opening Pandora's Box.

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