LIFE Charity – Loving Life, Offering Hope

Frivolous £20 IVF lottery using babies as prize giveaway

LIFE has learned that babies are going to be given away as prizes in an IVF online lottery due to start at the end of this month.

‘To Hatch', a charity which offers fertility advice to couples who need IVF, has been granted a licence by the Gambling Commission to give away £25,000 of IVF treatment in a monthly lottery to people struggling to conceive.

LIFE cannot believe this is for real, or that the Gambling Commission has actually granted this licence. Lotteries are associated with luck, frivolity and fun, yet this is the blatant trading of human beings and exploitation of people's suffering, and is no solution to the problem of infertility.

Such a scheme demeans the nature of human reproduction, using babies as prize giveaways. It also demeans those struggling to conceive, preying on their vulnerability and suffering glossing over the risks and difficulties of IVF treatment: its high failure rate, its stress on the couple, the risks to a woman's health and the health of her baby. Studies consistently show that there are significant increased risks of IVF children being born prematurely, with low birth weight and all the complications this can cause, including increased risk of cerebral palsy.

This totally irresponsible decision of the Gambling Commission has to be challenged. The Codes of Practice that regulate facilities used for gambling, stated in the Gambling Act 2005 Section 24(2)(b), stipulates the necessity of protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

This is an extremely alarming and highly inappropriate new direction in IVF treatment. Couples with unexplained infertility so often find themselves on a conveyer belt of IVF treatment. LIFE has had couples come on our FertilityCare's Naprotechnology programme who have tried IVF and had it fail, yet, through our personalised, holistic programme, which treats the causes of infertility, they have conceived through natural conception.

This lottery scheme is callous exploitation of vulnerable people and babies and is no answer to the postcode lottery of IVF treatment. How can society have sunk to this level?

To complain to the Gambling Commission about issuing this licence, please visit the Gambling Commission website.

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