Skip to comments.Evangelicals seek a future for thousands of frozen embryos
Posted on 09/11/2012 7:50:56 AM PDT by AnalogReigns
The embryo was frozen in liquid nitrogen when Gabriel and Callie Fluhrer found it. They didnt know whether that embryo would grow to be a boy or a girl, or whether it would even grow at all.
But to the Fluhrers, it was worth the risk. That tiny collection of cells was a baby, they believed. And if they didnt pluck it from the warehouse where it had been stored since its biological parents decided they didnt need or want it any longer, it was likely to die.
If were going to stand against abortion, its not simply picketing a clinic, said Gabriel Fluhrer...
Vatican officials have stopped just short of banning embryo adoption, but its discouraged, because of its connection to in vitro fertilization a practice banned by the church because it often includes disposal of unused embryos.
It needs to be recognized that the thousands of abandoned embryos represent a situation of injustice that cannot be resolved, Vatican theologians wrote in their 2008 bioethics treatise.
The earliest Christians were distinguished by their care for those society discarded, he wrote on his blog. Embryo adoption seems to me a seminal way to do such a thing here in the third millennium.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
From my understanding, one cannot simply request a frozen embryo. It has to be formally “adopted” and the initial contributors must sign away all parental rights. Most of what I have read it is in the form of an “open adoption”. Sometimes I think our technology has advanced farther than we know what to morally do.. Essentially, the adopted Mom carries and delivers her own adopted child.
Here's a good argument in favor of frozen-embryo adoption and implantation: Janet Smith Pro-Embryo Adoption (Link).
You'll notice that Dr. Smith is arguing this within a Catholic framework, which will be persuasive for some and perhaps off-putting for others. She sees it as a simple pre-natal adoption and rescue, and thinks that since normally postnatal adoption and rescue are justified, this is the same thing.
On the other hand, a number of people I respect, including Bishop Elio Sgrecchia, who serves with the Pontifical Academy for Life, and British philosopher Mary Geach, argue to the contrary mainly for two reasons (Link):
In other words, the whole IVF industry --- doctors, lab techs, investors, clinic entrepreneurs, plus the parents who originally concocted and then froze their embryonic children --- would profit from it, either financially or psychologically from the consolation that they "ended up with live babies and therefore it's all good."
So it becomes part of the incentive structure for making and freezing even more humans.
In other words, natural marriage entails an implicit agreement to use your sexual/procreative faculties only with your spouse and with no other. Plus every baby has the right to be the fruit of his parents' marital union and not a science project, a lab experiment, a commodity, or the result of a commercial transaction.
BTW, I take it as inevitable that where there is a desired commodity, a market mechanism will spring up to accommodate the demand. Therefore I think the Bishop is correct n saying that if this becomes accepted, there will be pervasive forces at play to develop this into another aspect of baby-manufacture-and-sales.
I don't know which side I'd come down on.
BTW --- I realize you're not Catholic, but from a Catholic perspective --- Bishop Sgreccia doesn't "trump" Dr. Smith here on the basis of authority, since there hasn't been an explicit, definitive ruling on this in the Church. It's still open to debate.
Every single one of these people --- Smith, Sgrecchia, Geach, and all the other quoted --- would agree that the #1 priority is to stop IVF in the first place. IVF, itself, is intrinsically wrong per se, and proliferates even more insoluble moral problems all the way down the line.