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Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Ethical Dilemma of In Vitro Fertilization

The Catholic Church calls it immoral, but that hasn't prevented plenty of Catholics among others from taking advantage of in vitro (IV) fertilization to get the baby they want. The technique has allowed millions of infertile couples to have children, but at what cost? The impact on their children is only just beginning to be seen. 

And what's the bigger implication for society? Here's a portion of an article on The Heritage Foundation website about Nobel prizewinner Robert Edwards, developer of IV, that should arouse the concern of all about the potential for coercive eugenic screening. Is that coming next?
As Edwards worked to develop procedures and culture media that could sustain human life, many of his research subjects died, including embryos conceived using his own sperm. In addition to refining the success rate and safety of his techniques, Edwards developed techniques for pre-implantation genetic diagnosis that would allow parents to identify genetic diseases before taking the developing human being from the petri dish to the womb. The same techniques increasingly allow scientists to select embryos on the basis of their sex or other desired physical characteristics, practices that remain controversial.


“Soon it will be a sin of parents,” Edwards reportedly said in 1999, “to have a child that carries the heavy burden of genetic disease. We are entering a world where we have to consider the quality of our children.”
Wow, now not only will the baby in the womb have to run the gauntlet of being "wanted" or "unwanted" but being perfect, at least genetically. Designer babies have long been predicted, but the day is getting close when science can actually do it. And what kind of hell will this brave new world bring with it?

Understandably, the Vatican has condemned the Nobel award to Edwards with good reason. The UK's Daily Mail reported:
Ignazio Carrasco de Paula, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said the award ignored the ethical issues that Professor Edwards' work had raised. He said: 'Without Edwards there would be no market for human eggs; without Edwards there would not be freezers full of embryos waiting to be transferred to a uterus, or, more likely, used for research or left to die, abandoned and forgotten by all.'

He also blamed Professor Edwards for the 'current state of confusion of assisted procreation: children with four or five parents, babies born from their grandmothers.'
Things are getting crazier and crazier in the brave new world where science does whatever it can do no matter who gets hurt. It's a function of everyone demanding to have whatever they want with no responsibility for the consequences. Such "science" often involves exploiting the poor and weak for the wealthy and strong. Anyone who disagrees is labled uncompassionate.

But where's the compassion:
A horrifying story recently hit news outlets about the U.S. deliberately infecting Guatemalan prisoners and mental patients with syphilis in the 1940s to test the effectiveness of penicillin. If you think this only happened "in the olden days," think again. In recent years, mass government vaccine programs ostensibly to eliminate diseases have been found contaminated with sterilizing drugs. Countries targeted with these stealth population control programs include Nigeria, Brazil, Mexico and the Phillippines, among others.

None of this is new. Medical research divorced from morality is an invitation to exploitation and  atrocity. When man begins to play God with human life itself, he joins Satan's rebellious band. Unfortunately, many are willing to tolerate immorality toward others to get what they want. It's always crucial to remember that the desire for a good end can never justify an evil means. And in the worst cases, like the vaccine programs, both the end (population control) and the means (contaminated vaccines) are evil.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I forget what priest said it but it went like this:

Contraception is the marital act without the possibility of procreation - In vitro fertilization is procreation without the marital act.

Dear Lord, havemercy on us.

Catechist Kevin