Vitro fertilization (IVF) is a laboratory procedure in which sperm is placed with an unfertilized egg in a Petri dish. The embryo is then transferred into the uterus to begin a pregnancy. The science world has greatly developed since 1978 when the first “test tube baby” was born. Technology has enhanced drastically, although we have the technology do different procedures it doesn’t necessarily mean we should. This essay explores the political, religious and ethical effects IVF treatment has on our world.
IVF laws across the world vary greatly from country. Ethical and religious believes can be a big part of these laws.
Laws in Italy proved to be the strictest in all of Europe. In 2003, research using human embryos as well as embryo freezing, gamete donation, surrogacy, and the provision of any fertility treatments for single women or same-sex couples was all prohibited.
Laws in Victoria Australia are the strictest in the country. Parents of surrogate (where the embryo is inserted into another women’s uterus and she then carries it through the pregnancy) children were not legally considered to be the parents of the child unless they were related to the surrogate mother.
Laws in Victoria also required Lesbian and single women to have medical prove that they were infertile before they were able to undergo IVF treatment.
Religious views often hold a lot of controversy with IVF treatment. Many people don’t believe it is up to us to “play God.”
Christians believe that life begins at contraception. IVF treatment doesn’t involve sexual intercourse so Christians believe that IVF abuses the sanctity of life.
Catholics believe that just because science allows us now to reproduce through unnatural means, doesn’t mean we should. They see all life as sacred from contraception therefore the eggs that may be discarded during the process of IVF make it immoral.
To collect the sperm a man must masturbate, this is considered wrong in Christianity. Catholics believe that IVF is somewhat like adultery, believing that is disrupting the sacred dyad of marriage.
The Catholic Church believes “IVF violates the rights of the child: it deprives him of his filial relationship with his parental origins and can hinder the maturing of his personality. It objectively deprives conjugal fruitfulness of its unity and integrity; it brings about and manifests a rupture between genetic parenthood, gestational parenthood, and responsibility for upbringing. This threat to the unity and stability of the family is a source of dissension, disorder, and injustice in the whole of social life” (The online News hour)
Egypt’s first IVF clinic was founded in 1986, the procedures that were permitted to be preformed were fairly restricted. According to Fatwas (rule the reproductive lives of Shiite and Sunni Muslim couples) “IVF was OK to do as long as you were using gametes from husband and wife and the embryos were transferred back to the same wife.” Anything outside of using sperm or egg from an infertile couple, like surrogacy or sperm donation, is strictly forbidden in Islam. Islam, like Catholics believes that IVF treatment is a form of adultery.
Another ideal in Islam is that every child must know its mother. IVF sperm donation can cause problems with this Ideal.
IVF treatment and other reproductive engineering procedures have raised much public concern since the first ‘test tube baby’ was born in 1978.
When an embryo has taken, the remaining embryos are no longer needed. They are usually thrown away. This has caused much controversy. Many people argue weather it is right to simply dispose of something that one day could become a human being. This then begins to involve the high controversial topic of abortion.
We are living in a fast developing society. Technology isn’t the only thing in our world that is getting more advanced. I believe that everyone has the right to have a child. Giving birth and having children is the most natural process in the world. I do not believe that just because your body deprives you from being able to conceive that you should not be able to experience lives most natural journey. There are many different aspects that do need to be taken into account. However people need to relies that every day thousands of people are dying due to poverty and war. These people have already developed personalities and relationships. They already have people that love them. That is the difference between them and the embryos. The Embryos haven’t developed at all. At the time of disposal, all that they have experienced is sitting in a Petri dish.
There are so many hard ships in life. I believe that if we have the technology to do well and to improve the lives of people we should. IVF treatment improves the lives of people hoping for a family. Family is the most important thing in life.
* Roman Espejo. “Introduction.” At Issue: Human Embryo Experimentation. Ed. Roman Espejo. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2002. August 2004. 4 March 2008. <http://www.enotes.com/human-embryo-article/39590>.
* “Embryonic Stem cell development raises ethical concerns.” The online News hour 24 Aug 2006 4 Mar 2008 <http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/health/july-dec06/stemcells_08-24.html>.
* Shea, John. “The Moral Status Of In Vitro Fertilization.” Free Republic Jan 2003 2 Mar 2008 <http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1683157/posts>.
* Hoare, Daniel. “Lesbian community welcomes Vic IVF changes.” Health and nursing issues Australia 15 Dec 2007 24 Feb 2008 <http://agedcareact.wordpress.com/2007/12/15/bic-government-changes-ivf-laws/>.