Time Magazine Asks, Is the Church's Argument Against IVF Holey?
#1
Time magazine offers no counterargument to objections raised against Church teaching, which is a shame as it would have made for a more interesting article:

Is the Catholic Church's Argument Against IVF a Bit Holey?
http://healthland.time.com/2010/10/08/is...bit-holey/
http://healthland.time.com/2010/10/08/is...ley/print/

Is the Catholic Church's Argument Against IVF a Bit Holey?
By Meredith Melnick Friday, October 8, 2010

When biologist Robert Edwards, who perfected in vitro fertilization (IVF) more than 30 years ago, was awarded the Nobel Prize on Oct. 4, public reaction was swift and divided. Many applauded the scientist whose pioneering efforts have made possible the births of more than 4 million children worldwide. But detractors, mostly notably the Vatican, criticized the Nobel prize committee's honoring of Edwards as "completely out of order."

In 1987, the Vatican released Instructions on Respect for Human Life in its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation, a position paper devised to explain the Church's stance on several medical procedures. In it, the Papacy describes IVF — which results in the creation and destruction of embryos — as a "dynamic of violence and domination."

"Although IVF has brought happiness to the many couples who have conceived through this process, it has done so at an enormous cost. That cost is the undermining of the dignity of the human person," said Jose Simon Castellvi, president of the Vatican-based International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations, in a statement on Oct. 5.

What exactly is the basis for objection? The arguments against IVF are many: for one thing, the technology opens the door to a previously nonexistent market for human eggs. It has also paved the way for embryonic stem-cell research, which necessarily requires the creation and destruction of embryos.

"Without Edwards there wouldn't be a market for oocytes (immature egg cells), without Edwards there wouldn't be freezers full of embryos waiting to be transferred in utero or, more likely, to be used for research or to die abandoned and forgotten by everyone," wrote Msgr. Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, in a statement released by the Vatican press office on Oct. 4, following the Nobel panel's announcement.

Further, there is the issue of using donors' genetic material: sometimes the eggs and sperm used in IVF (in which an egg is fertilized in a lab dish, outside the body) do not belong to the child's biological parents. If either egg or sperm is donated by someone outside the marriage, according to the position paper, the resulting conception is:

    ... contrary to the unity of marriage, to the dignity of the spouses, to the vocation proper to parents, and to the child's right to be conceived and brought into the world in marriage and from marriage.

But at its most basic, the moral objection to IVF is that it involves the deliberate creation and destruction, by man, of unused human embryos for eugenic, economic or psychological reasons. Couples may create many embryos during IVF treatment, but choose only the strongest two or three for transfer into the uterus. The rest are frozen or discarded. "Through these procedures, with apparently contrary purposes, life and death are subjected to the decision of man, who thus sets himself up as the giver of life and death by decree," the 1987 paper states.

"The objection to Bob's Nobel prize is that with IVF, you are inevitably destroying some fertilized eggs and that these eggs are humans and deserve the dignity of humans," says Dr. Malcolm Potts, an obstetrician, the Fred H. Bixby Professor of Population and Family Planning at University of California, Berkeley, and an old friend of Nobel-winner Edwards.

Potts finds this argument frustrating. In a 2003 paper on Catholicism and fertility treatment appearing in the journal Conscience, which is published by the organization Catholics for a Free Choice, Potts laid out what he perceived to be an area of illogic and contradiction in the Church's stance.

The Catholic Church, Potts notes, does allow the destruction of embryos in certain situations. For instance, if a mother develops an ectopic pregnancy — an often fatal condition in which an embryo develops in the fallopian tubes or abdomen instead of in the uterus — termination is permitted. Potts wrote:

    Attempts are made to justify surgery to abort an ectopic pregnancy on the grounds that the Fallopian tube is diseased, but some ectopic embryos can go to term and produce a viable child. We can agree that in certain circumstances the life of the embryo may be terminated, showing that conservative and liberal interpretations of early embryonic life are divided by statistics, not by moral absolutes.

Potts argues that the Vatican, by determining when it is and is not acceptable to destroy an embryo, based on statistics, leaves the realm of morality and makes a scientific argument — except without any science. Rather, it is a scientific argument founded in statements about morality.

A further complication, Potts argues, is the mistaken notion that humans must relinquish moral judgments to God:

    Daniel Callahan, the Catholic ethicist, gave a twentieth century gloss to [St Augustine's] ancient tradition when he wrote, "To say, for instance, that God forbids the taking of 'innocent' life while conceding — as I think we must — that it is left up to a man to define what an innocent life is, is to fail to see that the only possible meaning this rule can have is the meaning human beings choose to give it . . . To place the solution to these problems in the hands of God is to misjudge God's role and misuse human reason and freedom."

Despite Papal objections to IVF, use of the technique has continued to grow: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the use of artificial reproductive technologies has increased by nearly 75% in the past 10 years.

For the many Catholic couples who have discovered the joy of children through IVF, perhaps the celebration of Edwards' Nobel win around the world offers an added measure of absolution.

Find this article at:
http://healthland.time.com/2010/10/08/is...bit-holey/

Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2010/10/08/is...z11oUGd9UK
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#2
It's just plain creepy. A baby is a product to which everyone is entitled. And the product had better be perfect.
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#3
article/Dr. Malcom Potts Wrote:The Catholic Church, Potts notes, does allow the destruction of embryos in certain situations. For instance, if a mother develops an ectopic pregnancy — an often fatal condition in which an embryo develops in the fallopian tubes or abdomen instead of in the uterus — termination is permitted. Potts wrote:

"Attempts are made to justify surgery to abort an ectopic pregnancy on the grounds that the Fallopian tube is diseased, but some ectopic embryos can go to term and produce a viable child. We can agree that in certain circumstances the life of the embryo may be terminated, showing that conservative and liberal interpretations of early embryonic life are divided by statistics, not by moral absolutes."

Does anyone know which document(s), if any, that Dr. Potts is referring to? I'm not able to do the research right now, but I wonder if anyone else knows off-hand.

P.S. - I didn't know that Catholics for a Free Choice had a journal. Has the president/CEO been excommunicated yet? I just took a quick look at their site, and not surprisingly, it makes you want to  :puke:.
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#4
(10-08-2010, 07:54 PM)SouthpawLink Wrote:
article/Dr. Malcom Potts Wrote:The Catholic Church, Potts notes, does allow the destruction of embryos in certain situations. For instance, if a mother develops an ectopic pregnancy — an often fatal condition in which an embryo develops in the fallopian tubes or abdomen instead of in the uterus — termination is permitted. Potts wrote:

"Attempts are made to justify surgery to abort an ectopic pregnancy on the grounds that the Fallopian tube is diseased, but some ectopic embryos can go to term and produce a viable child. We can agree that in certain circumstances the life of the embryo may be terminated, showing that conservative and liberal interpretations of early embryonic life are divided by statistics, not by moral absolutes."

Does anyone know which document(s), if any, that Dr. Potts is referring to? I'm not able to do the research right now, but I wonder if anyone else knows off-hand.

P.S. - I didn't know that Catholics for a Free Choice had a journal. Has the president/CEO been excommunicated yet? I just took a quick look at their site, and not surprisingly, it makes you want to  :puke:.

They are being ridiculous.  The number of ectopic pregnancies that can go to term and produce a viable child is minuscule.  They are the rare cases where an embryo implants in the abdominal wall, develops a placenta, lives, develops to term or thereabouts, and is surgically delivered.  These are "miracle babies" you read about in the newspaper.  The woman often doesn't know she is pregnant.  I don't know if anyone has ever studied the lives of these babies to see if they have medical problems or early deaths that might be due to developing attached to the abdominal wall instead of the uterine wall. 

The Church would not allow a viable ectopic pregnancy to be removed. 

Most ectopic pregnancies are not viable because they implant in the wall of a Fallopian tube, which will burst as the embryo grows, putting the mother's life at risk. 

According to what I found at Catholics United for the Faith, Catholics must wait for the Fallopian tube to rupture before surgeon can remove the tube and doomed embryo. Non-Catholics can take a pill that dissolves the tissue connecting the embryo to the tube and allows a miscarriage to take place, or have a surgeon open the side of the tube, remove the embryo, and suture the incision.  The Church views those alternatives as direct abortions and prohibits them.  But if it's determined that the embryo is already dead, of course they would not be abortions. 

(I can't tell you how many times in an abortion debate a woman has told me "I had to have an abortion!  My baby died inside me."  Uh…  It's not an abortion if the baby is dead, it's just removing the remains.)

Before Roe, non-Catholics also had to wait for the tube to burst because if a surgeon just opened a pregnant woman's abdomen to see if she had a bulging tube indicating a tubal pregnancy (no ultrasounds back then, remember), he could be judged guilty of trying to cause an abortion.  Ectopic pregnancies are excruciatingly painful and the woman couldn't get much if any medication for pain because she was pregnant, even though everyone knew from her symptoms that it was a tubal pregnancy and the baby wasn't going to survive, if it was even alive then.

In some ectopic pregnancies, embryos implant on the ovary, in the fimbriae, on the cervix, etc., and die, or live long enough to cause bleeding and other problems, have to be removed.

Although doctors can transplant organs and implant very early IVF-created embryos into a uterus, transplanting ectopic embryos into the uterus where they belong hasn't been very successful.

http://www.cuf.org/faithfacts/details_view.asp?ffID=57


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