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King's College London - Health: More than a medical matter





NHS criticised for buying patients porn

13 September 2010

By MacKenna Roberts

Appeared in BioNews 575

A conservative health think tank has criticised the NHS for spending an estimated £700 of public funds per year on pornography.

Roughly one in three of the 92 NHS hospitals with fertility clinics surveyed by 2020health.org provide pornographic material to male donors to help them produce a sperm sample.

2020health.org claims the NHS is implicitly 'sanctioning' pornography in the workplace and 'fostering unhealthy attitudes of the opposite sex' by turning a blind eye to the practice, even when the pornography is sourced free-of-charge.

'Seventy seven per cent of the NHS workforce is female and they should never have to work in an environment that endorses pornography', said 2020health.org director and author, Ms Julia Manning.

The report accuses the NHS of 'effectively suggesting to a man that rather than thinking of his partner, he should sexually objectify an unknown women while producing a specimen'. It concludes that offering pornography demeans female staff and women, encourages 'adultery of the mind' for couples seeking fertility treatment and ignores the potentially harmful 'impact of the addictive nature of pornography' on these men.

The report also details a raft of negative consequences associated with the porn industry, including the 'increasing use' of younger women, violence and 'surgically enhanced women'. One study cited finds 'the gap between the reality of the woman's body and the fantasy portrayed leaves men and women less able to connect'.

2020health.org advocates a zero-tolerance policy, demanding the government ban pornography in NHS fertility clinics immediately.

Fifteen clinics obtained pornographic materials free through donations. One trust borrowed its pornography from a private clinic. The remaining eighteen hospitals purchased their porn; two directly from publishers, prompting Ms Manning to fear 'manipulation by sex industry' as it targets a potential 'new market'.

The annual spend per trust averaged £21.32 on magazines and similar for DVDs. Ms Manning concedes public expenditure is 'small' but she trumpets the 'principle'; and labelled the practice an 'inexcusable' violation of NHS public mandate to promote 'treatment with dignity and respect'.

The report rejects any 'spurious claim' that pornography is necessary in these circumstances by pointing to the two-thirds of NHS fertility clinics that reportedly don't offer pornography. Men who require external assistance should produce sperm samples at home and bring them into the clinic, wrote Ms Manning.

 

 

SOURCES & REFERENCES
The Sun | 08 September 2010
 
Telegraph | 08 September 2010
 
NHS criticised over porn supply
Press Association | 09 September 2010
 
NHS Trusts using pornography in their fertility clinics
2020Health | 09 September 2010
 
The Register | 08 September 2010
 
Watford Observer | 08 September 2010
 
Who said pornography was acceptable in the workplace
2020Health | 09 September 2010
 

RELATED ARTICLES FROM THE BIONEWS ARCHIVE

20 September 2010 - by Dr Alan Thornhill 
Julia Manning's report 'Who said pornography was acceptable in the workplace? An investigation into the use of pornography by NHS fertility clinics' is disturbing. All that is missing from this supposed expose is the human story... [Read More]

28 June 2010 - by Kyrillos Georgiadis 
A controversial dating website that only allows 'beautiful people' to join has launched a sperm and egg bank so that people can have 'beautiful children'... [Read More]
21 June 2010 - by Professor Vardit Ravitsky 
The debate surrounding the rights and welfare of donor offspring has been gaining momentum over the past few years, and a growing number of countries have already banned anonymous sperm donation to ensure the right of offspring to access information about their donors... [Read More]
14 June 2010 - by Professor Eric Blyth 
Unlike either oocyte or embryo donation, sperm donation presents a massive PR problem - masturbation. At least since Onan came to a sticky end, masturbation (aka 'self-abuse') has both suffered censure and has provided a fertile source for low-grade humour.... [Read More]
10 January 2005 - by BioNews 
The UK's Department of Health is to launch a new national campaign to recruit egg and sperm donors in the country. It hopes to prevent further shortages of donors, a problem that has been exacerbated by new regulations, coming into force in April, which will remove anonymity from all future... [Read More]

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