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Protecting Patients: Unveiling the Reality of Profit-Driven Fertility Clinics
September 04, 2023

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Part of the problem is that it’s very easy to take advantage of infertile couples. They are desperate to have a baby, and this makes them extremely gullible - and this is especially true when they are not very well educated. Many doctors take undue advantage of their gullibility and ignorance by using all kinds of medical jargon, such as stem cell treatment, ovarian rejuvenation, extended genetic testing, and immune therapy, because it’s very easy to take poorly informed patients for a ride.

Sadly, many doctors put profits before patients, and are happy to sell false hope. This is extremely cruel because they know that what they are doing is unethical and incorrect, but they continue doing it. The only way they can continue living with themselves is that they are able to justify that what they are doing is correct because that's what every other doctor is doing as well. They feel this explains their behavior, even though they know in their heart of hearts that what they are doing is unjustified because it's not been proven to work. Unfortunately, they continue selling experimental treatments and using patients as guinea pigs. What’s worse is that because these untested, unproven therapies are very new, they are also extremely expensive, because they can charge an arm and a leg for doing something different!

They make all kinds of tall claims that are never documented because they can get away with saying anything within the 4 walls of their clinic. They quote all kinds of ridiculous success figures, which are completely false, but unfortunately, patients aren’t sophisticated enough to push back, do their due diligence, or do their homework. Many of these successful doctors are extremely sweet-talking, and because their bedside manner is so good, they are capable of making patients do whatever they tell them to do. Unfortunately, these are the kind of doctors who end up giving the entire medical profession a bad reputation. Once a patient has burned their fingers in one IVF clinic, they tar all IVF clinics with the same brush, and refuse to treat any IVF doctor with any respect, because they think that all IVF clinics are cheats. Sadly, with the entry of the commercial chains of IVF clinics, this seems to be becoming the norm. What used to be an exception, has become mainstream today, because the entire profession seems to have become commercialized. The focus seems to be on maximizing the number of IVF cycles and doing as many treatment add-ons as possible, irrespective of whether the treatment is actually adding any value to the patient’s life or not.

The doctors are employees, and all they seem to care about is their bonuses, by maximizing the clinic’s bottom line, rather than doing what's right for the patient. The only way of changing this is by making sure that patients arm themselves with information therapy. This acts like a vaccine and immunizes them from being taken for a ride by unethical doctors. Unless they learn to protect themselves from bad doctors, they will continue remaining vulnerable targets, and there is no shortage of con artists and scamsters in the medical profession. What’s truly tragic is that these doctors continue getting away with this because other doctors refuse to call them out in public, under the guise of professional courtesy. They believe it’s unethical to criticize another doctor’s unethical actions! They say that doctors should not wash their dirty linen in public, and it’s not a doctor’s job to criticize what another doctor is doing, even though they can clearly see that what is being done is completely wrong and incorrect. At the end of the day, patients suffer – and so do good doctors, because the trust between doctors and patients has been eroded.

Authored by : Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD and reviewed by Dr Anjali Malpani.