I recently watched an episode of Chicago Fire, where one of the characters wants to become a single mother and is contemplating an insemination. She says that she can’t afford the $10,000 price tag for insemination. I almost jumped out of my chair when I heard this. There’s no way, no how that an IUI would ever cost $10,000. Another HUGE Hollywood misrepresentation.
This one really bothers me because I can imagine someone sitting around watching this show, knowing that they’re having trouble but not knowing what to do about it. Then, they hear that an insemination is $10,000 and are shell-shocked with the price. It might deter them from ever seeking medical intervention because they are ruling it out thinking that a basic treatment would be so expensive. This frustrates me to no end.
Here’s my letter to the Chicago Fire producers:
To Whom it May Concern:
I just watched the recent episode of Chicago Fire where Shay was contemplating an insemination with Severide.
While I appreciate that you are showing alternate ways to have a family, you have misrepresented the cost.
The character on the show stated that it would be $10,000 for an insemination. This is grossly higher than the actual cost. The actual average cost in the United States is $865. See this page for more details.
There’s no way an insemination would ever cost $10,000. $10,000 would be a more accurate figure for IVF.
My problem with this misrepresentation is that the thousands of Americans suffering from infertility who watched this show will now think that this first-step treatment is unattainable for them due to the cost.
They may not even pursue anything further, thinking that they can’t afford it, so why even bother with the next step.
This just further perpetuates the misinformation out there about fertility treatments.
I highly recommend that you consult with someone that truly understands infertility and assisted reproductive technology the next time you choose to include things of this nature on your show.