French Order of Physicians Takes Odd Bioethical Viewpoint on ART


On September 19th, the Directors of the National Order of Physicians (“CNOM”) were heard at the French National Assembly by the Commission in charge of the revision the bioethics law. 
The President of the Ethics and Deontology Department, Dr. Jean-Marie Faroudja, declared that he is not against allowing ART for single women or lesbian couples. He was quoted in ‘La Croix’ newspaper: “The physician’s role is to ease suffering, both physical and psychological. Since the yearning to have a child is painful, the doctor must be there to listen (…) If people are willing to extend access for ART, we think that it is up to our society to decide”.
Yet the Medical Academy had previously ruled in favor of “the best interests of the child” in a report submitted last July to the ‘CCNE’(French National Consultative Ethics Committee) which stated:
“Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART) with a donor deliberately deprives a child from the essential and necessary relationship with 2 adults of different sex.”
The medical profession is completely divided on the subject of performing these techniques which are not medically indicated.
The president of the Catholic Center of French Doctors, Bertrand Galichon, thinks this is “a fundamental turn in the role of caregivers in our society. (…) Are we shifting to a point where doctors will have to meet society’s demands without any reflection whatsoever on their primary mission, which is to cure?
The same question is raised by a young medical intern who deplores the insufficient training for students on bioethics subjects:
“Can infertility still be considered a medical pathology, when, in order to meet societal demands, doctors are requested to consider lesbian couples and single women, (who are physiologically unable to give birth) eligible to the same “medical treatment” and the same financial help for this treatment as a male-female couple who have been diagnosed as pathologically infertile? Isn’t such infertility a result of a social situation?

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