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NHS ‘should offer free IVF’

Oh no, the elephants are at the watering hole again.

The government’s National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) says that In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) treatment should be free, whatever the heck ‘free’ means, which I suppose in this case means I have to pay for it whether I want to or not.

Here’s one of those hot medical areas which it is easy to avoid discussing. But being one who is constantly trying to seek the best position on any particular ‘moral’ or ‘ethical’ position, I was wondering if anyone out there is willing to offer me further guidance? My current views on ‘free’ IVF treatment are as follows. Infertility is God’s way of letting you know you have several lifestyle alternative choices on offer:

  • You could shrug your shoulders, accept God’s wisdom, declare your unconditional love for your partner, and then spend the money saved on lavish consumer products, holidays, and financial support for Samizdata’s bandwidth costs, rather than nappies, five-bedroomed houses, people carriers, and all the other paraphernalia of decades of expensive child care.
  • You could split from your current partner, and you could both try to have a baby with someone else.
  • You could adopt one of the many unwanted babies born in the UK, and God bless you if you do.
  • If you exist above a bare level of poverty, and dependent on how far above this line you are, you could sell the BMW for a second hand scooter, you could sell the house in the south-east and move to Carlisle, you could cut the foreign holidays and spend your time on camping holidays in Wales, cut the manicures, cut the business coaching sessions, or cut the golf club fees. You could then invest any savings made in private IVF treatments.
  • If you exist on a bare level of poverty, and you really don’t mind bringing children into the world to share this level of poverty with you, which is a whole thread in itself, you could seek out private charities to help you with the cost of IVF.

Now call me an Old Scrooge McDuck, but what I don’t think you have is the right to tap me on the shoulder, relieve me of my wallet, and force me to pay for IVF, or a boob job, or a penis extension, or a tattoo removal, or any other such ‘lifestyle’ enhancement (for want of a better term), just because it would upset you not to have the treatment.

If we lived in a better world, we in the UK would all have private health insurance, and I would be in the plan which most suited my needs, and I would certainly take the Leviathan Insurance discount for not having IVF cover in event of my present or future infertility, as I’d be quite happy to live with the infertility options presented above, if such a terrible affliction struck me. I would also be quite happy to see you take out the full Leviathan Insurance cover, which did include such protection, if you weren’t happy with the above options.

So I suppose this comes down, again, to whether you believe in socialised medicine, and if you do, whether it should provide everything or whether it should provide a certain minimum set of obligations. Although I would much prefer the NHS to be abolished, as soon as is practicable, I can just about stomach being forced to shell out for it, via my taxes, for the ramshackle minimal health services cover it currently provides me and everyone else with. This is because although I object in principle to being forced to contribute to it, under a fully privatised system I would certainly choose to contribute to private health charities to help provide this minimal system. But what I think is an outrage is being forced to pay for the never-ending flow of new and modern treatments which come on-stream as technology advances, while watching the basic system of straightforward illness treatment and emergency cover crumble.

Before even considering IVF, and imagining I was still a socialist, what I would personally like to have ‘free’ are services such as accessible dentistry, chiropodists, opticians, chiropractors, and other such grey-area ‘luxuries’. But of course I can’t get them on the NHS, not round my way, because although in cloud-cuckoo moron land everything is ‘free’ on the NHS, here on planet Earth the laws of economics dictate that scarce resources must be rationed, either via price mechanisms on the free market, or via straightforward socialist queuing and queue-jumping, a system which is especially good for those with friends on the inside, or access to the splendiferous Chelsea and Westminster hospital. So to decide who are the ‘deserving’, with the NHS, we also have to add on top yet another layer of expensive bureaucrats, with the laughable New Labour acronym of NICE, who ponder like angels in heaven on who deserves what, and for how long, and the periods in which they are eligible. What it must be to be one of these angels ministering out politically correct medical treatments to healthy young couples while old age pensioners with diabetes lose their feet because they can’t afford chiropodists.

The sooner the NHS is abolished the better.

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36 comments to NHS ‘should offer free IVF’

  • One of the things that New Labour have done that I really do approve of is announce plans to try and make adoption easier in the UK (whether their plans are working, I really don’t know, but it is a laudable aim). Blair said, quite rightly, that we were going so over the top with vetting parents that children were remaining parentless, and that this was a ridiculous tragedy. He even pissed off various groups who deserved to be pissed off, such as the eejits who insist that it is wrong for white parents to adopt a black child, even though black parents tend not to adopt.

    So, after all that, he’s going to spend a trough of public money on reducing demand for adoptions? Fuckwit.

    Incidentally, you can’t adopt in the UK if you’re having IVF. Bureaucrats have ordained that, if the IVF succeeds, you are bound to love your own child more than the adopted one, who will suffer as a result. (I have a friend who is currently on IVF and who wanted to apply for adoption too, but was refused on those grounds, even though she herself is adopted and her sister isn’t and her parents never let that get in the way of loving them both just as much. I seethe at the thought of the sheer arrogance of some bureaucrat informing her that her own childhood was technically impossible according to subsection B of paragraph 4 of a theoretical study conducted by some social worker.) And, of course, by the time you finish an unsuccessful course of IVF, you’re likely to be “too old” to adopt. So we’re about to see a huge increase in the number of unadopted orphans, and we’re paying for it.

  • Squander,

    Having babies is one of the more worthwhile investments in life. Adoption is the second option, and there is some wisdom in acknowledging that.

    My daughter was conceived by IVF when we were on the adoption list, and had advanced to fourth in the queue, so I don’t know if your statement about that is entirely accurate. Maybe something has changed since our time, which was eleven years ago.

    I can say that then the NHS success rate for IVF treatment was one in 14. Our wonderful, private hospital, the Lister, was averaging 1 in 3. I guess considerable advances have been made now. But the government’s proposal only stretches to 5 free treatments, which is no sort of guarantee of success. Adoption will still be the best option for many.

  • Rob Read

    This just shows what a stupid and counter-productive system the NHS is.

    Scrap the NHS, before it kills you.

  • By my own choice, I have a “catastrophic care” health insurance package from Blue Shield. I pay for most medical costs out of pocket, but should I need, say, a liver transplant, I won’t be pauperized. The cost of the coverage is quite reasonable, certainly less than I paid in Canada.
    Unfortunately, it recently increased by whopping 1/3. Greedy bastards at Blue Shield? No.
    California, in their wisdom, decided all health care plans in the state must include coverage for mental health conditions and full coverage of drug rehabilitation (such as six months at some $500/day rehab clinic). No opt-out is possible–coverage is required. So my bill leaps up, and the Liberals immediately start bleating about the “cripplingly high cost of health care in California.”
    Now, why is that…?

  • Dave O'Neill

    Now, why is that…?

    I expect it was because the state was ending up having to cover the cost of the insured addicts and mentally ill and had had enough of it.

    Of course you could say that it shouldn’t be the state’s problem but there are plenty of examples of what happens if you look after the mentally ill in the “community”.

  • Katherine

    David:
    With regard to CA the more likely answer to Toren’s question is that some campaign contributor had to be bribed; at this point nothing in the State policies happen for any other reason.

  • Cydonia

    What’s it got to do with the National Institute for Clinical Excellence? We all know IVF can work. The question is whether the taxpayer should be robbed to pay for it.

    Cydonia

  • Charles Copeland

    Mah dear little brudders and sistas of Samizdata – I have a dream: give the couples an IQ test first. Rule out free IVF for those couples scoring an average of under 85. The fewer offspring low-IQ people have, the better for society as a whole — especially since low-IQ people tend to be more racist, xenophobic, and criminal than average. They also drink more and create vast numbers of pavement pizzas.

    Also refuse free IVF to the unemployed and to those with criminal records …

    Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in eugenics.

    I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that it’s time these dumb pussies and tatooed dickheads stopped reproducing altogether.”

    When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, provided their IQ is over 85, we will be able to join hands and sing “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last from these dumb chickenhead criminal assholes who turn society into a pisspot of epsilon-minus semi-morons like themselves!”

    Give eugenics a chance.

  • Kelli

    This always happens on Samizdata–a perfectly lovely, reasonable debate and then, bang, a raving loony pops up with something incoherent but vaguely sinister. Thanks Charles, now no one has to wait for the other shoe to drop.

    My point: moral hazard. If the state mandates (as some here in the US do) or better still provides IVF services, are we not likely to have an ever-greater number of selfish twits (er, I meant poor souls) who postpone childbirth until their twilight years only to find–time’s up!!–best call in the labcoated miracle workers? I would probably have waited another decade myself had I known someone else would pick up the tab. Stupid me.

    So, could we put some sort of age limit on this sort of service (for I am a good deal less judgmental about my fellow humans who have done nothing to bring this upon themselves and just want a baby–I’m not heartless!)?

    But then, we’re faced with giving such power to a supposedly omniscient bureaucracy, and that’s rather creepy as well. Best stick to the original suggestion and let those who want this desperately enough find a way to pay themselves. I have a cousin by marriage who has used her entire inheritance to pay for the right to conceive four healthy children (and suffer numerous miscarriages), and was happy enough to do so though it meant using donor sperm and working two jobs in perpetuity. We think she’s mad, but by God she and her husband WANTED those children.

  • Quentin

    Actually, ‘free’ IVF is a very good idea, and self-financing in the long term. After all, each new citizen is a new taxpayer. The UK is suffering a significant population problem – simply put, we need more children.

  • Harvey

    “The UK is suffering a significant population problem”

    I think not! Perhaps we have a problem because the never-ending pyramid scheme that is social services/NHS will be royally buggered if the ‘donors’ don’t outnumber the recipients but that’s hardly a problem of overpopulation.

    We are suffering a significant population problem – far too many damn people. We certainly don’t need to be creating more. Perhaps we do need more immigrant workers, but they’re only a benefit because they’re happy to make minimum wage (seeing as it’s 5x what they’d earn at home) and we can throw them out when we’re bored of their company.

    No, the last thing we need here is more people. This could be a very pleasant country if only there was a bit more space, a bit more freedom and fewer retarded busybodies demanding that things be made safer ‘for their kids’ so raising them doesn’t actually put them under any sort of pressure.

    IVF on the NHS will hopefully never come about. UK residents, write to your MPs, everyone else, stick in some very appropriate comments on the site the BBC have so thoughtfully provided for us here!

  • Cydonia

    Kelli has it about right, but I’d add a few words.

    For libertarians the issue is an easy one. Private health care (by which I mean, health care that doesn’t have some sort of third party effect like the treatment of multi-drug resistant TB) is a private good. There is no reason why the State should pay for it and plenty of reasons why it shouldn’t (including the ones Kelli mentions). There’s nothing unique about IVF. It’s no different in principle from hip replacements. The State should get out of private health care, period; and therefore any extension of the NHS to treat yet another kind of malady should be opposed.

    However, for the folks who buy into the whole NHS / socialist medicine thing, the issue is entirely different. Every time some new medical treatment comes along, they have this huge earnest debate about whether it counts as “genuine” medical care – is it real medicine as opposed to a lifestyle issue, should the money go on anti-VD campaigns to prevent infertility in the first place? blah blah blah. Everyone has a view and in the end some politician decides what the answer is, based on a combination of focus group research, media pressure, which interest group runs the best campaign, which Government Department stands to get the most new funding etc. There’s no question of principle involved at any stage, whatever the media say. It’s all just opinion laced with prejudice.

    p.s. as far as intra-socalist debate goes, well actually I have some sympathy with the infertile folk who want the State to pay for their IVF. Certainly a worthier cause for my stolen tax money than (say) abortion for some slaggette who can’t be bothered to use contraception. But that’s just my opinion laced with prejudice 🙂

  • mark holland

    nothing to do with IVF, but check the Bill of Rights in this weeks Portadown News bit ‘o class!

  • Ian

    Isn’t 85 rather a low IQ? Not that I put my trust in it…

  • Rob Read

    What’s the earnings expectations of someone with an IQ of 85? I’m guessing pretty low (on AVERAGE). So Charles gets his way anyway as long as IVF is not paid for by state theft.

    I just don’t get why socialists think it’s best to steal money from my pocket by threat of force to encourage those with genetic problems to increase the level of “faulty” genes, and then think every person has to agree with them, when they don’t and argue it’s easy to see where “re-education” camps come from.

    WHAT is needed is pre-birth (pref conception!) insurance to pay for possible disablility. Then the likelyhood of genetic disease should be factored into the risk from the parents, a much better form of Eugenics.

  • Cydonia wrote:

    Certainly a worthier cause for my stolen tax money than (say) abortion for some slaggette who can’t be bothered to use contraception.

    Most of these ‘slaggettes’ don’t bother to claim their taxpayer-funded abortions because there’s a lot more stolen money to be had by holding on to the child and claiming all sorts of other goodies purchased by taxpayers, like free housing and free child care etc – so I personally favour having taxpayers pay for the abortion to prevent these girls claiming all the other ‘benefits’ they magically become entitled to once they’re mothers.

  • What a disappointing debate. Of course, the NHS should offer infertility treament, including in-vitro fertilisation – if the NHS should exist at all, which is the real question.

    If it should, there is no issue about whether the state should use our taxes to bring into the world more children. They are family and bring love and a unique meaning to life. Anyway, we need them to balance the population age profile. Our reproduction rate is well below replacement.

    Charles and other eugenicists, you are fabulously barmy but not nearly determined enough if you really mean it. The idea of Eugenics is to improve intelligence. An IQ of 85 is low for the UK, as you must know. The average is 102 for white Britons, and the fertility rules would need to be written to raise this. Your programme would also necessarily have to seek to improve the Afro-Caribbean element but only 16% reach the white average … a bit of a problem. The same rules couldn’t apply for each population segment – and then what would you do about inter-racial mixing.

    Probably best to stick with messing about after school behind the bicycle shed.

  • Charles Copeland

    Guessedworker/Gastarbeiter writes:

    “Charles and other eugenicists, you are fabulously barmy but not nearly determined enough if you really mean it. The idea of Eugenics is to improve intelligence. An IQ of 85 is low for the UK, as you must know. The average is 102 for white Britons, and the fertility rules would need to be written to raise this. …”

    Reply:
    I’m just a moderate, libertarian eugenicist – and while an IQ of 85 isn’t great, it’s enough to add value to society rather than to subtract value. We don’t all have to be geniuses. But I agree with you that the real issue is scrapping the NHS, not as to how it should extend its reach.

    As to whether the state can or should encourage smart people to reproduce, I think it probably can and should. Ten generations of socialist imbeciles is enough. Curiously, as far as I know the only country to at least partly succeed in this repect was the German Democratic Republic. It threw so much resources at child-bearing college girls (i.e. high IQ females) that something like 80% of GDR female graduates aged between 30 and 40 have had at least one child — as compared with 40% for the Bundesrepublik. Even the Commie bastards can’t get everything wrong, always. But the GDR high-IQ birthrate collapsed after unification and is now as low in the new Laender as in the old Laender, if not lower. The sources on this are all in German (the expert is East German geneticist Volkmar Weiss) but if any reader is interested, I’ll inform her.

    Guessworker, if you want more info on national IQ, check out Lynn and Vanhanen’s study ‘IQ and the Wealth of Nations’ – more at:

    http://www.rlynn.co.uk/pages/article_intelligence/t4.htm
    and
    http://www.rlynn.co.uk/pages/article_intelligence/t3.htm

    Barmily and ravingly yours,
    Charles

  • Charles,

    How interesting, thanks. Glad to correspond with a pro.

    I think the IQ trend generally is depressing in both senses of the term. The current low European birthrate among the better off must have grave long-term consequences – third world immigration, too. There may be a shortage of menial workers but the wealth creating capacity of the modern, first-world economy relies on our grey matter.

    In this respect, the current expensive private provision for fertility treatment surely acts as an IQ filter. But, of course, to argue that the NHS shouldn’t offer IVF for that reason brings us back to the barmyness again.

    I didn’t know the East Germans were eugenicists. Maybe the Nazi rocket guys were sent to Russia and the mad doctors stocked in Magdelenburg. Who knows?

    The Beijing government is certainly not eugenicist. My business associates in China are very definitely in the average + categorie and, of course, tend to abide by the government rule. I have the impression that the “lower elements” don’t do so with such discipline. This could quite dramatically tip the national balance downward, if it has not already done so. I believe Richard Lynn and the PM’s dad log average IQ in mainland China in the low 90’s, substantially less than the Chinese population average for Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan (105/106). Lynn fingers “you pretend to pay us” communism as the cause, I think. But none of the other communist states were affected in that way, not even Russia. What’s your take on that?

  • Kelli

    Charles,
    Unless scientists have uncovered a “socialist” gene that could be screened out (or, beware eugenicist backlash–screened in) I don’t see how political affiliation enters this part of the discussion.

    Eugenics has historically meant FAR more the prevention of undesirables from procreating than the encouragement (successfully or otherwise) of uns. Your libertarianism appears to be edging dangerously toward totalitarianism, and they aren’t even close on the poli spectrum. Shame.

    And if you’re thinking (as well brought up libertarians of high IQ should be) that we could replace state operated sticks with free market carrots, be warned that even this method has been challenged successfully here in the land of the free. As is when rich people of eugenicist bent offered poor fertile folk a cash premium AND free birth control (the ugly matchsticks implanted in the upper arm kind), only to be challenged by the ACLU, etc.

    The only victory eugenicists can claim is in the positive role they played in promoting sanitation, education and (voluntary) birth control, which was substantial indeed.

    Oh, and BTW, China’s IQ is low largely because or obscenely high levels of rural poverty, malnutrition and a shortage of iodine in children’s diets. Once this is addressed (and I don’t think the Chinese govt is particularly concerned about it–stupid people protest little) the overall rate will rise.

  • Charles Copeland writes:

    “Curiously, as far as I know the only country to at least partly succeed in this repect was the German Democratic Republic. It threw so much resources at child-bearing college girls (i.e. high IQ females) that something like 80% of GDR female graduates aged between 30 and 40 have had at least one child — as compared with 40% for the Bundesrepublik.”

    And the advantage of this has been………?

    It is the institution of a free market economy and private property rights held in a stable legal order that makes us rich; not IQ levels or any other pseudo-scientific hocus pocus. Why don’t you people who keep referring to yourselves as libertarians try understanding it and promoting that for a change and spare us your boneheaded bogus social Darwinist expertise.

  • Well said, Paul. Highly intelligent people are the bane of this planet, anyway.

    Skipping right back up to the top of the thread…

    Guessedworker,

    Having babies is one of the more worthwhile investments in life. Adoption is the second option, and there is some wisdom in acknowledging that.

    I know. I wasn’t complaining that some people prefer IVF to adoption. I was complaining that people who are willing to adopt are forbidden from doing so for entirely stupid reasons.

    Sounds like something has changed in the last 11 years. Unless it’s one of those things that varies for different regions of the UK.

  • Charles Copeland

    Sorry, late reply – I was out zooming through Luxembourg’s wonderful cyclepaths all afternoon on my superduper superlight 7 kilo ‘Specialized’ racing bike …

    Here goes.
    Re Guessedworker query concerning China’s low IQ.
    Kelli’s probably right on that – IQ is partly dependent on nutrition (indeed, if you get no nutrition at all, your IQ will eventually sink to zero – corpses score very badly on all tests). It was the great Richard Lynn himself who first advanced the nutrition hypothesis (cf his article ‘The role of nutrition in the secular increase of intelligence.’, published in Personality and Individual Differences, 1990, 11, 273-286.); more at:
    http://rlynn.co.uk/.

    BTW the East Germans weren’t ‘subjectively’ eugenicists – but de facto their procreation policy does appear to have had an ‘objectively’ eugenic effect.

    Kelli writes:
    “Unless scientists have uncovered a “socialist” gene that could be screened out (or, beware eugenicist backlash–screened in) I don’t see how political affiliation enters this part of the discussion.”

    I didn’t express myself very clearly – mea culpa. It’s not a question of screening out socialist genes but of ensuring that the population doesn’t eventually become so moronic that they will vote for any demagogue who promises heaven on earth via state intervention. Perhaps I should have written ‘Ten generations of socialist or fascist imbeciles is enough.’ Look at Equatorial Guinea – average IQ 59 (world’s lowest). Does anybody seriously think that the population can vote meaningfully for ANY democratic political party? Extrapolate ongoing dysgenic trends in the West and OUR mean IQ may be down to that level in a few generations. OK, I’m a natural born doomster – but the fact remains that intelligent European women just aren’t having kids any more. That’s the problem with high IQ chicks – they’re a Darwinian cul de sac.

    Kelli continues:

    “Eugenics has historically meant FAR more the prevention of undesirables from procreating than the encouragement (successfully or otherwise) of uns. Your libertarianism appears to be edging dangerously toward totalitarianism, and they aren’t even close on the poli spectrum. Shame.”

    I know – some eugenicists were pretty totalitarian and of course it was the Nazis’ attraction to eugenics that gave the whole idea such a bad name. But the fact that some eugenicists may (in the past) have believed that genocide is a moral imperative doesn’t mean that ALL eugenicists support mass murder. After all, it doesn’t make sense to tar all socialists as Communist thugs just because some socialists are also Communist thugs.
    What’s ‘totalitarian’ about encouraging intelligent people to reproduce anyhow? I suppose it would be ‘totalitarian’ if the state were to forcibly sterilise everybody on the left side of the IQ bell curve. I didn’t propose anything like that. I proposed not throwing taxpayers’ money at cognitively disadvantaged couples to ENCOURAGE them to procreate. I proposed LESS state intervention, not more.

    But let’s look at the topic from a consequentialist angle. Imagine there are two identical libertarian societies – equal in all respects. Fun societies, of course. In both of these societies, the population begins to fall because of a low birth rate, and in particular the average IQ begins to plummet because the smart women far prefer recreational to procreational sex and are better at practicing contraception – for example, they know that to ‘come outside’ doesn’t just mean having sex on the balcony.

    Now let’s say that in one of these societies a prophet is born. He convinces some of the low-IQ segment of the population that there is an omniscient God out there who gets real upset when people jerk off, use Dutch caps, French letters etc… So these low IQ people start having lots of kids, because they don’t want to upset God and end up in hell for all eternity. Eventually the population begins to explode again — but the people are ALMOST ALL NEAR-IMBECILES! And it’s goodbye to libertarianism – imbeciles don’t go in for it very much.

    Of course, the other society (the ‘non-prophet’ society) eventually dies out altogether, when the last objectively sterile and hedonistic female reaches menopause.

    Nice, libertarian people like me find this a bit of a problem. Honest – I’m all for the minimal state. Fuck the government. But a libertarian society with a zero population is a bit depressing. If a bit of eugenics (say taxing non-parents to subsidize parents, and in particular throwing cash and perks at smart women who procreate) would do the trick and prevent the libertarian society from becoming a society of near-morons and eventually dying out, one can certainly argue for some state intervention. Of course, that’s a value judgment. Perhaps it’s better for society to die out than to permit government intervention in any area. But I’d prefer a 90% libertarian society with a real population than a 100% libertarian society with zero population.
    Maybe my reasoning is horribly wrong or maybe there is some other solution to the dysgenics problem that doesn’t require state intervention or the re-birth of old-time religion. Maybe my eugenic suggestions are politically unrealistic (‘barmy’). If any Samizdat afficionado can come up with better ideas, please fire away.

    ****************

    Finally, Paul Coulham writes:
    “It is the institution of a free market economy and private property rights held in a stable legal order that makes us rich; not IQ levels or any other pseudo-scientific hocus pocus.”

    Does Paul seriously believe that an individual’s IQ has no impact on his earnings? I doubt it. What Paul is probably trying to say is that, no matter how high your IQ, you’re not going to get awfully rich in a socialist country. True enough. But intelligence does play a role in every society – in fact, the more libertarian a society, the GREATER the difference in earnings as a function of IQ. That’s why socialists hate free societies so much – because, although nobody starves, some people are EXTREMELY well off, because they can ‘valorize’ their brains to more effect.

    What applies at individual level also applies at the level of breeding populations or nations. Countries with a high average IQ will be richer, other things being equal, than countries with a low average IQ. Ditto for breeding populations – Ashkenasi Jews (average IQ: 115) earn more than European Gentiles (average IQ: 100), who earn more than African-Americans (average IQ 85). These are facts that have nothing to do with ‘Social Darwinism’ or ‘pseudo-science’.

    To conclude: all I’m simply stating is the truism that an individual or group’s status and income are a function of (a) their intelligence and (b) economic freedom plus (c) loads of other factors, such as good health, good luck, good looks, etc..

    So I’m in favour of measures that will increase (a) our intelligence and (b) our economic freedom and (c) all the other good things.

    What’s so heretical about that?

    Charles

  • Crazy Eddie

    “If a bit of eugenics (say taxing non-parents to subsidize parents, and in particular throwing cash and perks at smart women who procreate) would do the trick and prevent the libertarian society from becoming a society of near-morons and eventually dying out, one can certainly argue for some state intervention.”

    But that wouldn’t even come close to working. Smart women tend to make lots of money – the cash and perks you throw at them to get them to have children would have to be staggering. A few hundred bucks ain’t going to cut it.

    I think you’d have an easier time to convince smart guys that having lots of kids is the way to go. Lots of kids won’t cost them their careers, and they’ll be making the kind of money that lets them support a stay-at-home mom and kids all by themselves. If you pull that off, then even if the high IQ chicks aren’t reproducing, the high IQ guys are, and you’ll still see an improvement.

  • Charles Copeland

    Crazy Eddie, I reckon I share your skepticism – taxpayers just aren’t going to pay up.

    But encouraging smart men to reproduce is also unrealistic. Smart men with lots of moolah will tend to marry women who are ‘anatomically’ intelligent rather than women who are merely, well, ‘intelligently’ intelligent. So the IQ problem remains unsolved, pending developments in pre-implantation diagnostics.

    Yep, the West is doomed. Spengler was fucking right after all. As Sir C.G. Darwin has pointed out: the dumb ‘homo progenitivus’ is likely to replace the smart ‘homo contracipiens’. Homo, of course, meaning ‘man and woman’.

    Charles

  • Crazy Eddie

    “But encouraging smart men to reproduce is also unrealistic. Smart men with lots of moolah will tend to marry women who are ‘anatomically’ intelligent rather than women who are merely, well, ‘intelligently’ intelligent. So the IQ problem remains unsolved, pending developments in pre-implantation diagnostics.”

    Well, it’ll be half solved. It’s better for the smart guys to reproduce than it is for them not to reproduce, even if they’re reproducing with average chicks. The guys contribute their genes to the process, after all.

  • Just a two-word, unlibertarian thought about encouraging smart women to breed:-

    social conservatism

  • Harry Powell

    Two points. The heritability of intelligence is far from being a settled scientific fact (regardless of the pronouncements of Charles Murray). It might be that IQ is largely a Galtonian quality that along with height shows regression to the mean; which is to say midgets don’t necessarily have diminutive children or smart fathers clever sons.

    Secondly Mr Copeland’s throwaway remark about the intelligence of Equatorial Guineans eloquently points up the shinning absurdity of cross-cultural IQ tests – how do you quiz someone on algebra when they are unfamiliar with the concept of zero?

  • Andrea Crane

    The NHS was introduced to help the ordinary person receive the necessary and basic medical treatments.
    However, as with everything this has evolved by giving people wider choices re life. The NHS funds abortion for those who do not wish to have children so why should it not help those who do.
    I am sure that the medical profession would agree that the inabilty to conceive due to a medical problem may lead to other problems such as depression and anxiety and in some cases relationship breakups. (all treatable on the NHS) The NHS should support the creation of life and as every mother knows, children are priceless.

  • DANIELA KENDREW

    I HAVE JUST BEEN REFUSED IVF BY NHS.I AM SO DISAPPOINTED I COULD NOT EXPLAIN IT.ACCORDING TO USH ONES I HAD IVF (NHS FONDED) AND NOW I AM NOT LEGIBLE ANYMORE.I WENT FOR IVF PRIVATLY 2004 AND I PAID £12 000 FOR WHICH I TOOK LOAN I WIIL HAVE TO PAY FOR MANY YEARS.IT WAS UNFORTUNATELY UNSUCCESSFUL AND I COULD NOT AFFORD ANY NO MORE.
    I ASK QUESTION -IF ONE BROKE HIS/HER LEG AND THEY GET TREATED BY NHS IF THEY BREAK IT SECOND TIME DO THEY HAVE TO GO PRIVATLY TO BE FIXED?!
    IT IS REALLY VERY CRUL POLICY OF THE GOVERNMENT TO LEAVE COUPLES LIKE AS TO GO THROUGH LIFE WITHOUT CHILDREN?!
    I AM SO DESPERATE I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO?!
    IF YOU HAVE ANY SOLUTION ,PLEASE PLEASE WRITE TO ME!

  • AHLAM HASSOUNEH

    I HOPE TO BE MOTHER BUT I HAVEN’N MONEY
    FOR THIS TREATMENT

  • maria

    reply to Daniela Kendrew

    if you live in Scotland you are allowed up to 3 cycles of IVF on the NHS. Its known as the post code lottery and its a disgrace!!!!

  • So Daniela and Ahlam, I want all sorts of things too… can I make you pay for them? Why the hell should I have to give some of my tax money to you to have children?

  • laura

    yes IVF should be on the NHS. why? well i believe that everyone deserves to have a child. i want to be a midwife and i think there is nothing more beautiful than experiencing pregnancy. to be able to feel your baby move inside of you, there is no better feeling.

  • Well then can I force you pay for all the things I want too, Laura? Why do you think your desires should be paid for by other people?