14 August 2008

Infertility recognised as a medical condition

It looks as though infertility is finally being recognised as medical condition after a landmark ruling in Chicago. Women in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana will now be able to take time off of work in order to have fertility treatments. They can also draw on the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in order to protect themselves at work.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

"The ruling expands a trend toward recognizing infertility as a medical problem; 13 states have laws mandating insurance plans to pay for in vitro fertilization, says the Pacific Research Institute, a think tank. Also, more employees are seeking time off for treatment under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act; this law, which entitles covered workers to up to 12 weeks' unpaid time off, may apply in some cases if a doctor certifies the treatment is for a serious health condition."

I wonder, however, what the implications of such a ruling will have for women if they begin to disclose their 'conditions' at work. Would it be liberating for women to disclose or harmful in the long run? Also, some people are arguing that because fertility treatments are 'elective', that like plastic surgery, women shouldn't be given extra allowances. What do you think?

Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121858336262134875.html?mod=googlenews_wsj


Olivia said...

Under FLMA an employee doesn't have to disclose the exact reason for needing the time off. So, a woman wouldn't have to say it's for fertility treatments.

This ruling is good because it is showing better empathy and understanding of the importance of having children is for so many people. Maybe this is another step towards better maternity/paternity leaves.

caiten said...

in regards to the last paragraph, I would advise against discussing any medical condition at work. It really is no ones business.

In the comparison of fertility treatments to elective plastic surgery, i'd say for the most part they are completely different, in most cases someone does not choose to be infertile.

EXCEPT in the case that infertility is caused by a personal choice. meaning, if someone had their tubes tied and years later they want to do fertility treatments, need surgery etc to concieve, the reason they need the treatments is a result of their own choices, their own actions.

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