Tuesday, July 13, 2004

In Vitro Fertilization

Serge at Imago Dei has some thoughts on in vitro fertilization in a series of posts: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 (Unfortunately, I can't get the link to Part 3 to work, so I just gave a link to his front page. I'll update it as soon as there is a valid link.). I first thought seriously about in vitro fertilization when I was leading the Responsible Technology discussion group at MIT. At the time, I thought that while there is nothing inherently wrong with in vitro fertilization, there is something truly abhorrent in its wastefulness. Many more embryos are produced than are ever used, and this practice should be an outrage to those who believe life begins at conception. The sad truth is that the pro-life movement, while opposing the deliberate destruction of the embryos, makes little effort to address the practices that lead to it. And I cannot say that I myself have done any better, since I saw the practice as terrible, but at the time it was easier just not to think about it too much: I had more than enough things to become outraged about already. I'm glad to see that Serge has put some serious thought into the matter, going so far as to offer practical advice to thoughtful Christian couples whose fertility problems lead them to consider in vitro fertilization:
My advice for those who are having fertility problems would be the following:
1. Talk about how far you are willing to go for infertility treatments PRIOR to attempting to conceive a child. Clear thinking and a plan is important.
2. Clearly indicate your beliefs to the IVF clinic and ensure that they understand that you do not wish to have embryos killed in this process. If they do not want to play ball, go somewhere else.
3. Prayerfully determine whether you want to go through all of this, or to adopt a child that needs a loving Christian home.

In addition, you may have noticed that I've added Imago Dei to the blogroll. Serge's thoughtful essays on bioethics make him a must-read. Plus I noticed that I was on his blogroll. (While I do not have a reciprocity policy, I do tend to check out blogs that link to me, and I'll add them if I like what I see.)

No comments:

Post a Comment

I moderate comments on posts more than a week old. Your comment will appear immediately on new posts, or as soon as I get a chance to review it for older posts.