The Bioethics Center, part of New Zealand’s University of Otago, recently posed this ethical question: “Are banks wrongfully exploiting the childless by offering and advertising loans for IVF?”
Apparently, ASB bank in New Zealand offers (and makes no bones about advertising) loans to pay for IVF treatments. They have produced a very emotional and persuasive commercial to promote their product. You can watch it on YouTube, but I’m warning you to do so at your own risk. This is direct-to-the-gut advertising at its best.
I have very mixed feelings about this subject. On the one hand, I don’t believe that IVF and other fertility treatments should only be available to the wealthy (and at anywhere from $10,000 – $20,000 a round, it’s not something that’s accessible to everyone.)
On the other hand, commercials like this fuel the notion that there’s always something else to try, always one more hope left, when sometimes, it’s just time to stop. It targets people when they are at their most vulnerable. In the banking world, they call that a predatory loan.
So the question I’m posing to you is this: is it ethical for a bank to offer and advertise loans to pay for IVF?
I’ll look forward to hearing your opinions.