Some moral and ethical issues concerning IVF techniques

IVF is not allowed by the Catholic Church because it separates the unitive and the procreative aspects of marriage. To separate the unitive and the procreative aspects of marriage is a mortal sin. In addition the sperm donor commits a mortal sin in order to harvest the sperm which is needed for IVF.

Although one human life may be created through the IVF technique, many surplus foetuses, (unborn babies), are destroyed through this process. Other surplus unborn babies are left frozen in the laboratories where they were manufactured as though they were not human beings, but simply consumer goods. They were not created in love through the marriage act as God intends.

What a nightmare dilemma the presence of these forgotten, frozen, (so called left over, surplus, not needed), human beings has caused us. Sometimes the parents have died or have changed their minds about having the IVF baby, which is already in existence. There appears to be no answer to this problem except to leave them there. To destroy them would be murder.

Another unhappy business regarding IVF techniques is that multiple implants are made in the woman’s womb in the hope that one of these pregnancies will come to term, and that a live baby will be born, however sometimes the outcome is that the woman instead of carrying one baby, may be carrying several babies. A process called selective reduction is sometimes resorted to. This means that the surplus babies are aborted, (which means that they are murdered).

IVF mix-ups have occurred with disastrous consequences. Some women did not end up with their husband’s baby, but with another man’s baby.  Just think what chaos that could bring to the marriage and to family life. Divorce has been one of the bitter fruits of these events.

There are other very disturbing developments brought about through these techniques. People conceived through these techniques are in danger of unknowingly marrying relatives.  These marriages further increase the risk of sicknesses and or disability.  It would not be the fault of the people involved, but nevertheless this is highly undesirable.

Marrying relatives has been shown even in the natural order, to produce more illnesses among the children born on account of these marriages. This has been shown in the case histories of the frequent marriages between relatives of the royal families of Europe, where many of the male children were born with the hereditary bleeding illness called haemophilia.

Babies bought about by IVF techniques are more likely to be sick and/or disabled, as has been seen in other unnatural techniques of bringing about new life, such as cloning, which deviates from God’s plan for procreation. At the present time cloning is only done on animals. There is mounting evidence of the large amount of deformities and sicknesses in animals bought about in this way. If this happens to animals we would be foolish to believe this would not happen to human beings also, if these unnatural techniques of bringing new life into existence are utilised.

If IVF gains acceptance, it is probably only a matter of time before even more diabolical reproductive technologies are used. It is not wise, nor is it moral, to go against nature by techniques such as IVF and in the process increasing the chances of sickness and/or disability. (This is not in any way an argument against the right to life of sick and disabled people.)

The so-called medical scientists involved in IVF technology are not usually there for the happiness of infertile couples. They are proving to themselves and to others what they can do with human life, and they are playing God. Money also motivates them, as it does the drug companies who sell contraceptives, and abortionists who destroy human life for financial gain.

The Catholic Church is sympathetic to all infertile married couples.  However this does not mean that anything goes in order to achieve a baby.  Any methods employed to enhance the chances of having a baby should be morally sound, such as learning to identify the fertility markers (symptoms), in the woman’s body, which may occur far less often in women who are experiencing the problem of infertility than in other women, and then using that information to advantage, to improve the chances of achieving a pregnancy.

Many people throughout the ages have prayed to the saints for help regarding infertility problems, and have had their prayers granted.  Adopting a child sometimes has been known to bring about an end to an infertility problem. Some previously infertile couples have gone on to have several children of their own, after the generous act of adopting a child.

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15 Responses to “Some moral and ethical issues concerning IVF techniques”

  1. suhel Says:

    Hey,
    Thanks for the valuable information. It has helped me with my assignments
    Thanks very much.

  2. Medo Says:

    Thanks, it also helps me in my assignment.
    I am wondering. are you one of my colleagues Suhel, I think I know you. Are you MSc biomedical Science student?

    I am a stay at home mother of 5 adult children, four of them are on the autism spectrum. I am not in your country (U.K.) I am in Sydney, Australia and went to high school up to year 10, and then a year of secretarial training afterwards. After that I worked in offices on a manual typewriter and a telephone switchboard, however I am married to a retired scientist. Somehow we cope with each other!

    We are both Catholics, that is why we get along!

  3. Making Relationships Work Says:

    Hi. I read a few of your other posts and wanted to know if you would be interested in exchanging links?

  4. brendakaren Says:

    Thank you. Yes I am interested in exchanging links. I have put up a link to your homeschooling information website in the blog roll on the right hand side of the screen for Brendakaren blog.

  5. Maddy Says:

    How accurate are these stats and opinions?
    I am doing an assignment on IVF and need true and accurate statistics. :) its really good tho! :)

  6. Kat Says:

    Thank you for this information.
    It did help.

  7. ali Says:

    If IVF gains acceptance, it is probably only a matter of time before even more diabolical reproductive technologies are used. It is not wise, nor is it moral, to go against nature by techniques such as IVF and in the process increasing the chances of sickness and/or disability. (This is not in any way an argument against the right to life of sick and disabled people.)

    Sounds like it to me……your saying the ones that are sick now is ok but we should stop having babies because there’s a chance of them being sick?

    Here is my reply to you.

    No-where am I saying that people should stop having babies, because they might be sick. You got that wrong.

    IVF is immoral; fullstop. The people who are disabled right now, including most of my own children who were born on the autism spectrum have every right to be here. There were conceived in the normal way.

    We have no right to produce human beings; healthy or not healthy by any other means except by the one that God designed for marriage (the conjugal act.)

    Even if we could have much healthier, and much smarter people by using IVF, we have no right to do that, because it bypasses the creator’s (God’s) plan for marriage and having children.

    Now one more thing, there are babies in the world due to IVF. Since they are here God loves them, but their parents have committed a sin.

    (Mary Ann)

  8. simon Says:

    pretty much all copied and pasted from other sites.

    Simon you are mistaken. I wrote the article myself. It has been on my website for a long time and still is. Perhaps others have copied it from my blog.

    Now that we have cleared that up, concentrate on the message.

  9. Leslie Says:

    IVF is not diabolical it is a means for people to be able to experience having children who have been unable to and are not gifted as the rest of us are to be able to conceive naturally. Just because of this misfortune are they unable to have their own children? It is far from fair. Open your eyes and think upon the bigger picture, if it were you who was unable to have children, what would you do? I’m sure it would be quite a different story that you would be telling then. It’s people like you, who make others turn away from religion Marry Ann.

  10. brendakaren Says:

    Hi Leslie,
    IVF involves a number of immoral practices, that don’t justify even the very best of outcomes: a beautiful baby. There was a lady on Australian TV the other night, who has a baby because of IVF, however she has four babies on ice! She was diagnosed with cancer one day before she gave birth. If she dies, her other four babies will stay on ice! They might even stay there if she survives, because she might not need them. In reality they are just like a product on the supermarket shelf. If the parent or parents require a spare baby, they will take it off the shelf and buy it, if not, it will stay in the baby supermarket in the freezer section. Babies are human beings not products, but IVF treats babies (human beings) as though they were nothing but products!

    Other babies created by IVF are killed because they are not exactly right; (they are disabled, are the wrong gender etc. or because there are too many brought about to implant into the one woman etc.) When things deteriorate any excuse will do. There are lots of terrible things going on there, but it is definitely not the only immoral aspect of the technology. The only proper way to bring about a baby is by marriage.

    You have jumped on me personally without knowing much about me at all. That never a good thing to do to anyone who don’t actually know. I don’t recommend that you do it to people who you do know either!

    Have you ever heard of something called NaPROTechnology. It is a technology which helps an infertile woman to achieve a pregnancy. Unlike IVF it is moral. Conception takes place during the marriage act. I do not know a lot about this technology, but it is inexpensive by a long shot to the lucrative IVF trade. The bottom line is that doctors who work in this technology study the woman’s health in detail and try to find out why she is not conceiving. Then they take whatever steps are necessary to help correct the difficulty; maybe an operation to unblock a fallopian tube, treatment to correct hormonal imbalances, or changes to the diet and/or life style etc. Some women are simply over-worked and need a rest before they can conceive.* The doctors who work with NaPROTechnology monitor the woman’s cycle to look for health problems that may have been left undiagnosed and untreated. When the health problems are treated, the woman can then make use of the signs of fertility and infertility to assist in the goal of achieving pregnancy. (There are various methods for recognising these signs of fertility and infertility e.g. The Billings Method that was developed by Dr. John and Evelyn Billings here in Australia.) NaPROTechnology is very successful at helping women to conceive.

    The IVF crowd may or may not help a baby to come. It often fails and they are not interested in the woman health problems. She might get a baby but might still have serious undiagnosed and untreated health problems, which IVF doctors won’t bother to find out about, or to refer her to others doctors for treatment. NaPROTechnology does do attend to this. The lady who I mentioned who has cancer did not have this noticed during her IVF treatments.

    There is a man here in Australia who treats infertility with herbs. He treats the women’s health problems with whatever herbs that he thinks will improve their health. He has had great success. When the women’s health problems are healed, they manage to conceive. Some of them had already wasted large sums of money on IVF, which failed to help them to achieve their goal of pregnancy. I recently read about a case, also here in Australia of a lady who had given up years ago, on ever getting pregnant because of repeated failures in trying to do, who simply decided to enjoy her life and her career. She has just given birth for the first time at the age of 50! The odds against this are staggering, but the point was that she stopped fretting and stressing about not getting pregnant. She was relaxed.
    *One woman was told by her doctor to stop her high powered job for a while, and go on a relaxing cruise. This was the solution. She was simply overworked and overstressed. Stress can interfere with the working of the body including fertility. IVF causes lots of stress!
    Greetings
    Mary Ann

  11. seo Says:

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  12. louise Says:

    Soo good, cheers helped me with my assignment :)

  13. Victoria Says:

    everyone who says that IVF is not moraly correct has obviously never had the heartache of loosing a child or being unable to concieve no matter what you do, my mother tried absolutley everything concieved naturally lost her babies and an ovary they tried IVF as another option and sure it took 8 times before they gave up and took on adoption instead but saying that the children have no right to be here just because they were not naturally concieved is like saying that i, being an accidentally concieved child, also have no right to be here because my birthparents were using protection and yet here i am. you people have absolutely no right to say that a person has no right to be here if you truly call yourself religious you would love them like the bible tells you to (yes i AM catholic)

    You have made a very big claim in suggesting, that everyone who says that IVF is immoral, has obviously never had the heartache of losing a child or being unable to conceive no matter what they do.

    There are people who cannot conceive, who would never use IVF because it is immoral. You do these people an injustice by suggesting that they would use IVF.

    Why are you so keen on IVF when your adopting mother failed to get a baby from it?

    IVF goes against God’s plan for marriage, and in IVF the spare babies are frozen and left abandoned, and some of them are probably killed. Is that what you think is okay?

    There is a method called NaProTechnology available today, where the doctors study the woman’s health and what needs treating, so that she can conceive naturally.

    I have written about this already in the comments, but I will put it in again.

    NaProTechnology is a technology which helps an infertile woman to achieve a pregnancy. Unlike IVF it is moral. Conception takes place during the marriage act. I do not know a lot about this technology, but it is inexpensive by a long shot to the lucrative IVF trade. The bottom line is that doctors who work in this technology study the woman’s health in detail and try to find out why she is not conceiving. Then they take whatever steps are necessary to help correct the difficulty; maybe an operation to unblock a fallopian tube, treatment to correct hormonal imbalances, or changes to the diet and/or life style etc.

    Some women are simply over-worked and need a rest before they can conceive. The doctors who work with NaPROTechnology monitor the woman’s cycle to look for health problems that may have been left undiagnosed and untreated.

    When the health problems are treated, the woman can then make use of the signs of fertility and infertility to assist in the goal of achieving pregnancy. (There are various methods for recognising these signs of fertility and infertility e.g. The Billings Method that was developed by Dr. John and Evelyn Billings here in Australia.) NaPROTechnology is very successful at helping women to conceive.

    All children who are in existence have a right to exist. The fact that they are here, is because God allowed them to come into existence.

    However people do not have a right to do whatever they want to, to have a baby.
    When a woman is raped and becomes pregnant because of the rape, the child is in existence and has a right to continue its existence i.e. not be aborted, but the rapist (the baby’s father) had no right to bring about this pregnancy in the first place. I admit that bringing about a pregnancy is not the aim of a rapist, but that is what some of them have brought about.

    Your parents had no right to use artificial contraception, which is intrinsically evil, but God decided to let you exist anyway. And you have a right to exist.

    Unmaried couples are not supposed to be having intercourse, which is only for people who are married to each other, but the unmaried do have pregnancies, so they have done wrong, but the child is not wrong! In fact a big saint in the church: St. Martin de Porres, was born to parents who were not married.

    You say that you are a Catholic. One of the rules of being a Catholic, is to obey the teaching of the Catholic Church on moral issues, but you have rejected Church teaching on IVF.

    Read everything on this thread and think again.
    (Mary Ann)

  14. Emily Says:

    What I find to be problematic with your point of view is the assumption that the fertility problem always lies with the woman. You say infertile couples can use NaProTechnology to find out how to diagnose and treat the woman’s infertility. However, many couples have male factor infertility with problems such as antisperm antibodies. There is no cure for this problem, but it is easily bypassed through IVF/ICSI. That is the problem when you have such a limited knowledge and perspective on infertility. Unless you have gone through the pain and heartache of not being able to conceive a child the “natural way”, you really have no business judging those who have been down that road and have turned to ART for help. I feel at peace with God about my decision to use IVF to have my own child, and I believe the Catholic Church is mistaken on its interpretation of Gods word.

    Dear Emily, Thank you for reminding me of something that I already know, that men sometimes have infertility problems. In fact a male relative, who died at a relatively young age, did have this problem, due to a complication from mumps, that he had as a child. He and his wife wisely and generously choose to adopt a child.

    I don’t have firsthand knowledge of infertility, but I am more than aware of the heartbreak of others who do, and have prayed for several of them to conceive a child. Some of them did go on to have a child, no doubt due to their own prayers as well.

    Emily, since you are of the opinion, that only those who have experienced the pain and the heartbreak of not being able to have a child naturally, have the right to comment on the morality or otherwise of IVF, you will have to dispense with many of those who agree with you, i.e. IVF doctors, politicians, and other people who have children, but who have sympathy for your position. In addition there are many people who are infertile, who don’t agree with you! I know that for a fact.

    I suggest that the next time that you need an electrician, call one who has experienced the pain and the heartbreak of being electrocuted (and survived the ordeal). The other electricians could not possibly understand all the complexities of electricity, and you surely would want an expert, wouldn’t you?

    Regarding bypassing male or female infertility (or their combined infertility), by IVF/ICSI, the end does not justify the means. In other words you cannot do wrong in order to bring about good. Think about this in terms which might be easier for you to understand. If you have to meet your electricity bill next week and are short of cash, you can’t rob the bank to achieve it. You have to work out something legitimate to deal with the situation, if there is a solution, if not you still can’t rob the bank. If you think that you can, the police will let you know that you were misguided on this point!

    I in no way judge people, even bank robbers.
    I (and I am sure you do also, unless you are totally confused) know that objectively they are doing wrong, but ultimately God will judge them after death. Maybe they were completely evil. Maybe they were insane. Even though they did objective wrong by robbing a bank, they may still have mitigating factors in their case.

    Since you say that you are at peace with your decision, I have two questions to ask you. Why are you hurling untrue rubbish at me, and why didn’t you look at the ethics of IVF fully, before you had your child, instead of coming to my blog now carrying on in the way that, both you and some of other commentators on this section of the blog have done.

    Now I have something to say especially for you, and for others who have come to this section of the blog, and have carried on in much the same way as you have. It does not really matter if you make all sorts of rubbish up about me, and then on the basis of the things that, you yourself have made up, then proceed to attack me. (It won’t make these things true, no matter how much you would like them to be true.)

    I will spell it out for you in a simple easy to understand way. Objective truth remains the same, even if you try to change it.
    Here is an example. Joe has only one animal in his yard, which happens to be an elephant however his crazy brother Steve, keeps insisting to all who will listen, that Joe actually has a kangaroo. No matter how many times, and how many people Steve tells this too, the elephant remains an elephant, and will not turn into a kangaroo.

    God will judge everyone. (I include myself in this) on the basis on what they have done in this life, (both the good things and the bad things.)

    If a person goes to blogs and/or websites, and hurls abuse at the website or the blog owner, they will be judged on this also. Just because abuse is being sent over the internet, don’t think that it is different from other forms of abuse.

    Since you thought that I did not know, that there is a such a thing as male infertility, it would have been wise to ask me first, before making any kind of comment on the matter, (especially the kind of comments that you made.)

    Even if I really did not know about male infertility, (or anything else for that matter) you still have an obligation to make your comments in a spirit of truth and charity.

    Remember Our Lord’s words: “As long as you did this to the least of my brethren, you did it to me.” These words apply not only to the good things that people did, but also to the bad things, like hurling abuse at people, (including blog and website owners.)

    Emily you believe that the Catholic Church is wrong on the interpretation of God’s word. Firstly, I think that you should be saying God’s Law, but anyway you must be an incredible person, to be able to shove aside the Catholic Church founded by Jesus Christ, (the Son of God, the second person of the Blessed Trinity, and more than 20 centuries of its teachings.)

    However you are not alone. You join those giants of history including King Henry VIII, who asked the Pope for permission to marry his brother’s widow, received it, and then decided later that the Church was wrong. That was because he wanted to marry Anne Boleyn.

    This charmer lopped off the heads of his women and others, including St. Thomas More, (his former best friend!) who paid with his life, for his loyalty to God and the Catholic Church, by not agreeing to the King’s wrong positions on marriage and religion. When you can’t agree with a church founded by God (Jesus Christ) i.e. The Catholic Church, the time honoured tradition as King Henry VIII and others have shown, is to start your own church, and let it’s doctrine, be anything you fancy, at any time! Such churches are really flexible, because their doctrines can change at the drop of a hat.

    The Catholic Church does not change its doctrines like we change our clothes. (Mary Ann)

    The bottom line: The question of whether or not IVF is moral or otherwise, is not to do with you or with me, or anyone else for that matter, or what we do or don’t know. It is to do with whether or not IVF is legitimate.

    P.S. I am not going to publish any more comments on this section of the blog either for or against IVF.

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