Tag Archives: ivf

Sloppy Science Reporting and Cloning Research Update

The media has a long, long way to go in reporting science: “South Korea to resume human egg cloning“, trumpets the United Press International article.

Umm, guys, the idea is to clone humans using eggs, but not to clone the eggs (or ova) themselves. In the defense of UPI, though, while the title is wrong, the article itself seems to that much right, in that they talking about cloning embryos.

But whether or not one is talking about clones or eggs, the work can’t be said to “resume” since the previous work was a fraud. The article is incorrect when it states that South Korea is planning “…to resume experiments with cloned human embryos next year…” .

There are no clones as of now, people! They are presumably resuming their attempts to clone, and ultimate do what Dr. Hwang had fraudulently claimed to achieve.

There is an interesting, and presumably correct detail in the article about the source of ova to be used for these experiments: only the leftover eggs from IVF work will be used from these experiments. That may prove problematic in that they will not be as healthy as ones taken directly from the woman for use in research–IVF eggs will have had more time to degrade before being worked on by the researchers. It’ll make an already hard task even more difficult, but this safeguard is not surprising in the wake of Dr. Hwang’s abuse of power of female employees and their “voluntary” egg donations.

IVF Morally Reprehensible

"The House of Representatives passed a bill that would allow federal dollars to go toward research on stem cell lines created from donated embryos left over from in-vitro fertilization [IVF] procedures."

"The bill is headed to the Senate, but President Bush has vowed to veto the measure to prevent it from becoming law."

– Annie Schleicherm, NewsHour Extra

I watched the debate between two senators on the news hour. The main point for the pro side: the "extra" IVF embryos would be destroyed anyway. The con side: Americans who find the research morally unacceptable should not have their tax money used on this effort. One thing not mentioned was the morality of IVF itself. Breeching this topic would surmount political suicide for any politician. However, every pro-life individual should find IVF morally reprehensible.

My problems with IVF:

1. Creating and eventually destroying some children to birth some other(s) (in many cases birthing more than originally thought (2-8)).

2. There are children to adopt. Adopt instead of resorting to IVF. [This point needs to be emphasized more. IVF is a very selfish procedure. There are countless children in need of homes. We should look to them before playing with petri dishes. – Funky]

3. It removes the love aspect of marital consummation (love and openness to life required).

How can we bring about debate on the morality (legality?) of IVF in general?

IVF Adoptions

"Fertility clinics across the country, according to the most recent data available, held about 400,000 frozen embryos as of May 2003. Patients had reserved 88 percent of them for their own future use, and they had earmarked about 3 percent for medical research. Two percent — or about 9,000 embryos — were available for donation to other couples, according to Sean Tipton, director of public affairs at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, which collected the data."


"But the debate over embryo adoptions is just beginning to take shape. ‘There are very few moral issues on which the Catholic Church has not yet taken a position. This is one,’ said Cathy Cleaver Ruse, chief spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities." – Alan Cooperman, Washington Post

What is the proximate primary end for an embryo? Birth. What is likely to happen to abandoned IVF embryos? They’re either discarded or used in experiments, i.e. killed. Does the Catholic Church approve of IVF? No (cf CCC 2377). Does the Catholic Church approve of ESCR? No (cf CCC 2273-2275).

Now we’re in a pickle.

Which is worse: allowing hundreds of thousands of embryos to be killed or bypassing the sex act so that those embryos have a chance of being born? I say desperate times call for desperate measures. IVF should still be regarded as objectively wrong and no new embryos should be made, but Catholics should be permitted to adopt extras.

Every child that was conceived by rape or fornication was conceived during an a violation of sexual morality – an act of sin. Yet there is no moral quandry for any Catholic desiring to adopt such a child – or any for that matter. Adoption in no way validates the sinful act involved in the child’s conception. Why, then, is there any doubt regarding adoption of embryos? Is the failure rate a problem? If so, why? Would it not be better for some to survive than none?

What do you think about this? Chime in. The comments are open and I’m all ears. 🙂

Update 06/01/05: Catholic apologist Jimmy Akin has addressed this issue on his blog as well. He’s much more thorough in his breakdown of the issue and he gets far more readers, so I heartily recommend reading his post and the attached comments.