A controversial game is set to launch in Britain this month, which will see people buy an IVF lottery ticket in the hope of winning a baby.
Hopefuls will be able to buy a £20 lottery ticket online and will be entered into a monthly draw, the jackpot of which consists of £25,000 worth of personalised IVF treatments at a leading fertility clinic.
The IVF lottery launches on July 30 and the game has approved by The Gambling Commission, who have granted a licence to fertility advice charity ‘To Hatch’ who is behind the scheme.
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However, the game has come under huge criticism from experts, who have questioned the ethics behind the idea.
There will be no restrictions on who can enter the lottery and couples, single, gay and elderly parties will all be able to take part.
The lucky monthly winners will even be able to pass the prize, which includes an overnight stay in luxury accommodation and a chauffeur service to and from the clinic, on to family and friends.
Meanwhile, the To Hatch charity will benefit from all the profits that are generated from the sale of the lottery tickets.
Critics have branded the IVF lottery as demeaning and Josephine Quintaville, from the group Comment on Reproductive Ethics, said: “This demeans the whole nature of human reproduction.”
She added: “Creation of human life should not be reduced to a public lottery. Instead of this, shouldn't more be spent on research into fertility problems?”
However, arguments for the lottery have said that it gives a lifeline of hope to thousands of couple who are unable to afford expensive IVF treatments.
If the winners find that the IVF treatments fail, they will be offered alternative options, such as using donor eggs, a surrogate birth or reproductive surgery.
Camille Strachan, founder of To Hatch, defended the lottery by saying: “We will offer struggling couples a completely tailor made service.
“We hope the To Hatch Lottery can ease the burden on the NHS and reduce the stress slightly on some of those who are struggling.”
If the IVF lottery is found to be successful, it could run every two weeks and tickets could eventually be available to buy in newspapers.