On the Centers for Disease Control website about Elective Single Embryo Transfer or eSET, health experts count the risks of multiple births as including:

Some who become pregnant with multiples may find one or more cannot survive to term or even a premature birth. This may lead to a medical need to perform fetal reduction.

Obviously, for a pro-lifer, this is a gut-wrenching possibility that would affect their choice of an assisted reproductive technology plan. Is Elective Single Embryo Transfer, in which the woman or couple chooses to implant only one embryo (instead of multiples) a good way to alleviate this moral hazard?

closed as primarily opinion-based by DevSolar, ff524, Giter, DenisS, BobTheAverage Jan 16 at 20:46

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 3
    Skeptics.SE can't answer questions of morality, only empirical facts. What is the factual claim you are doubting, and who is making it? – jwodder Jan 16 at 16:42
  • The factual claim is implied on the CDC website. Multiples -> Risk. Solution? eSET! – elliot svensson Jan 16 at 16:44
  • 3
    What constitutes a "good" way to alleviate a moral (and thus, non-quantifiable) "hazard" is opinion based. Voting to close as such. – DevSolar Jan 16 at 16:50
  • 4
    Depending on your definition of "better", which is opinion-based unless you specify more specific conditions. ;-) -- You could ask if eSET results in more pro-life proponents to opt for IVF, but I don't think it will be possible to isolate this from all other variables, and anyway, you'd end up judging by self-assessment questionaires, which (you guessed it) would be opinion-based... – DevSolar Jan 16 at 16:57
  • 1
    As it stands, the question is asking about moral hazard, which is opinion based. Asking about a reduction in the risk of performing a fetal reduction is not opinion based. Asking about the effectiveness of this technique in starting a pregnancy is not opinion based. – BobTheAverage Jan 16 at 17:11

As the website says, the one embryo is:

selected from a larger number of available embryos

So many lives are created, and only one is saved.

  • 2
    Hm. Whether and from what point onward an embry qualifies as "life" is part of the whole argument, isn't it? – DevSolar Jan 16 at 18:59
  • @DevSolar From a pro-life perspective, which is specified in the question, there is little to debate here and the answer is functional. – elliot svensson Jan 16 at 19:57
  • @DevSolar if someone believes that life starts after the stage where the embryos are implanted, but before the number would be reduced, then it would matter to that person. – DavePhD Jan 16 at 19:59
  • As I said, the definition of "life" is part of the whole argument. (Meaning to indicate that the answer would be better if it referred to "embryo" in that last line as well, avoiding the issue altogether and leaving the definition of "life" to the reader.) – DevSolar Jan 22 at 16:16

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .