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The Who’s Who Of Disability!

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has decided to change the definition of disabilities to classify people without a sexual partner as infertile. The organisation is ready to classify single men and women – who want to have their own children but are unable to do so because they couldn’t find a suitable sexual partner – as disabled. As expected, the proposed move has triggered a controversy worldwide. If accepted, infertility will not be considered only as a physical problem in medical terms. In fact, the specialised UN agency has hinted that it will encourage all the parties to consider the environment and overall situation while dealing with the issue of infertility. The agency is also in favour of using the word disability, instead of infertility. As per the present definition, infertility is the failure to achieve pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual activity.

Now, the failure to find a suitable sexual partner and the absence of adequate sexual relation will also be considered as physical disability. It is to be noted that infertility is considered as a disability in most of the countries in modern world. The treatment for infertility is very costly in the developing nations and the poor section of people is unable to cure the problem. Moreover, infertility is also considered as curse or shame in many developing nations. After considering all these factors, the WHO has decided to explain a person’s failure to find a suitable sexual partner for him/her as disability. The organisation believes that the proposed definition will certainly change the traditional view of society towards childless couples or disabled couples! WHO also believes that the new definition will encourage heterosexual single men and women, and gay and lesbian people to have offspring through In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).

Single men and women without medical issues will be classed as ‘infertile’ if they do not have children but want them

According to sources close to the Geneva-based UN agency, the proposed definition will be sent to health ministers of different countries in 2019 for consideration. Sources said that the new guidelines could force a change in law, allowing the introduction of commercial surrogacy in many countries.
Talking to the British media, one of the authors of the new standards – Dr David Adamson – said: “The definition of infertility is now written in such a way that it includes the rights of all individuals to have a family, and that includes single men, single women, gay men and women.” He also said: “It puts a stake in the ground and says an individual’s got a right to reproduce whether or not they have a partner. It’s a big change.” “It fundamentally alters who should be included in this group and who should have access to healthcare. It sets an international legal standard. Countries are bound by it,” stressed Dr Adamson.

Meanwhile, critics have called the proposed move absurd nonsense. They have also raised concern that couples with medical infertility could lose the chance for a child if the concerned authorities agree to rewrite their rules. British MP and former Chair of the All Parliamentary Group on Infertility Gareth Johnson insisted: “I’m in general a supporter of IVF. But I’ve never regarded infertility as a disability or a disease, but rather a medical matter. I’m the first to say you should have more availability of IVF to infertile couples, but we need to ensure this whole subject retains credibility.” He expressed serious concern over the WHO decision, stressing: “This definition runs the risk of undermining the work people have done to ensure IVF treatment is made available for infertile couples when you get definitions off the mark like this. I think it’s trying to put IVF into a box that it doesn’t fit into frankly.
However, WHO is determined to come out with a new definition!

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