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Banking on Infertility: Medical Ethics and the Marketing of Fertility Loans


  • Alisa von Hagel

  • Alisa Vo n Hagel, “Banking on Infertility: Medical Ethics and the Marketing of Fertility Loans,”


In 2012, a number of news headlines captured a growing trend in fertility medicine—the increased presence of lenders specializing in fertility loans, often promoted or featured by fertility clinics and physicians. Streamlining the financing of assisted reproduction connects patients with loan company representatives either on-site or through a clinic's webpage. While medical professionals and clinics do not receive a commission for product promotion, this recent spate of news reports identified investment opportunities for physicians in private lending firms and some of the physicians involved in such investments. In facilitating the process to obtain credit and, in some instances, benefiting financially through equity ownership in private lending firms, participating physicians declare this a “win-win situation” with no clear conflict of interest. The emergence of these specialty lenders seems a natural development in the current fertility market, but the growing use of private fertility loans suggests the need for further inquiry.