Baby
One Canadian radio station is offering $35,000 worth of IVF treatments to a couple in a radio station contest. Image: Flickr / sabianmaggy / CC-BY

Canadian radio station Hot 89.9 has caused an uproar with its latest station contest. The “Win A Baby Contest” has a grand prize of three in vitro fertilization treatments.

The radio ‘Win A Baby’ contest

An Ottawa, Canada, radio station is running the “Win A Baby” contest. The contest asked couples to submit a 100-word or less essay describing why they deserve a baby. The contest received more than 400 applications, and the winner will be announced on Oct. 11. The contest has been advertised with a picture of a baby holding a sign saying “win me!”

Highlighting the cost of IVF

In vitro fertilization treatments are one of the most popular ways for infertile couples to attempt to have a child. Canada’s health service does not cover IVF, so couples must pay for the treatments on their own. In Canada and the United States, a single IVF treatment can cost between $10,000 and $15,000 per cycle. Some health advocates in Canada are applauding the radio station for running the “Win A Baby” contest because the contest highlights the cost of IVF treatments for infertile couples who want to have a baby.

Backlash against the contest

Not all observers are excited about Hot 89.9′s “Win a Baby” contest. In the National Post, Andrew Lovesey lambasts the contest, saying:

“The very premise of the contest insults the sanctity of life. The idea of ‘winning’ a child is itself offensive in the extreme, belittling life, making childbirth into a marketing gimmick. It also has the effect of making an object (a prize) out of a human being.”

The debate over fertility treatments

Fertility treatments in Canada have been heavily debated. The Canadian health service covers all treatments considered “medically necessary.” Taxpayer dollars in Canada fund the Canadian health service. IVF treatments have been ruled not medically necessary by the Canadian health service, which means couples who wish to conceive via IVF must pay for it themselves. Some advocates argue that IVF should be considered medically necessary, while others argue that taxpayer dollars should not be used to pay for elective fertility treatments.

Sources

Infertility Awareness Association of Canada: http://www.iaac.ca/content/paying-fertility-treatment-canada
Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2035263/Win-baby-Radio-station-condemned-competition-giving-away-free-IVF.html#ixzz1ZGn88Cjb
Canadian Broadcasting Company: http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2011/09/28/ottawa-baby-contest-infertility.html

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