Saturday, April 22, 2006

Reproductive Semantics

I thought I would bring this very insightful thought from Comment Land onto Front Page. The famous and ever-supportive Soralis brings up a very good point regarding the semantics used in the IRS (and apparently Canadian as well) tax forms. Read the previous post for context.

Soralis Wrote:
I just had to say something about the Fertility Enhancement... I think it is really bad that it's called enhancement, makes people believe that we are improving on something that actually works. (I got a letter from our provincial health minister and she reffered to it as fertility enhancement and said it wasn't covered because it wasn't medically necessary.)

Soralis, you raise an excellent point pertaining to the semantics. It absolutely should be thought of as medically necessary and should be covered by insurance. And now that I think of it, "enhancement"... sort of does imply that it's just making something that works even better - like that messed-up assumption that all IVF folks are TRYING to "get twins" or whatever. (And "enhancement" on its own actually makes me think of breast augmentation or something... hmm...)

That being said, I am a steadfast believer in the power of positive thought. I like to think (of myself and of the world around me) in positive terms rather than negative. That's why the term appealed to me. Of course, I do need some professional scientific expertise to (hopefully) make things happen and plan to use all tools available to me to do it.

But you are so right. We all really should become activists to a certain degree. Speak out, write letters and be heard, like you have done. Fertility issues are so private and so painful, we often want to forget about all of it as soon as we can (regardless of outcome). But perhaps we owe it to our sisters (and the men and women who love them) who will follow us to call for change in health care policy. To not be ashamed and step up. Thank you for (inadvertantly) making me realize I have a responsibility to do something. I'm not quite sure yet what or when, but you've got me thinking.


soralis said...

Thanks... After I commented on your blog I was so worried that I may have offended you by that statement. It just hit a nerve due to the letter I received from the health minister. After writing the letter I have realized how difficult it is to deal with the government as an individual. I beleive that the only way we will get legislation changed is all of us past/present/graduated IF'ers keep on these people. I have never been one to 'speak up' but if more of us keep bugging the politicians maybe some day things will change? It may never benefit me but god forbid my children have to go through this I sure hope that they don't have to suffer the financial hardship.

I just hope that some day IF is a thing of the past or at least the 'money stuff' is taken out of the equation.

Take care and have a great day.

Anonymous said...

Semantics are very important in conveying information. I don't know how I feel about "fertility enhancement" though. To me, "infertility treatment" keeps it within the medical context and makes it sound less optional. But words have different meanings for everyone.
This experience has made me much more likely to speak up about this any other issues. It is so important to speak up.

x said...

I wrote a few letters to various politions and it made me feel a bit better. I agree about getting involved. I think in everything we do we should aim to pave the road a little smoother for those that come after us. I am fighting to remove the IF drug exclusion at work, makes me feel like I am doing my part.

Sarah said...

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world"-Margaret Mead!

Yes, doctor, I would like to "ehance" my reproductive system. I had in mind a bit of uterine augmentation and perhaps then we could plump up my ovaries, because I love that big pouty look.

Infertility Enhancement....whatever!

Mary Ellen and Steve said...

I have written tons of letters to senators and politicians. It feels really good to do something. Resolve has an advocacy section on their websites that has different people and causes that you can write to if you want a place to start. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I've been thinking about this one too. Not just re:cost (though that's a part of it) but about ways to raise general awareness in the community. Not just the innocuous ribbon stuff, either. Somthing out there and confronting.I see so many of us needing to be quiet about our IF experiences, but I just wish there was another way. How to break that taboo?

Sunny Jenny said...

Ha Ha Well I tagged you! You're it! Check out my blogg for more info.:)

Family Ties said...

What is your email address?

YouGuysKnow said...

hey Sunnie - if you're reading this, it's

Shauna said...

The sad part is that one really has to live through IF to see how necessary treatment really is. :(