Skip to comments.Vatican condemns IVF, the Pill (Why is this so surprising alert!)
Posted on 12/12/2008 6:09:21 AM PST by NYer
THE Vatican today said life was sacred at every stage of its existence and condemned artificial fertilisation, embryonic stem-cell research, human cloning and drugs which block pregnancy from taking hold.
A long-awaited document on bioethics by the Vatican's doctrinal body also said the so-called "morning after pill" and the drug RU-486, which blocks the action of hormones needed to keep a fertilised egg implanted in the uterus, fall "within the sin of abortion" and are gravely immoral.
"Dignitas Personae" (dignity of a person), an Instruction of Certain Bioethical Questions," is an attempt to bring the Church up to date with recent advances in science and medicine.
It said human life deserved respect "from the very first stages of its existence (and) can never be reduced merely to a group of cells."
"The human embryo has, therefore, from the very beginning, the dignity proper to a person," the docment by the Congregations of the Doctrine of the Faith said.
It said most forms of artifical fertilisation "are to be excluded" because "they substitute for the conjugal act ... which alone is truly worthy of responsible procreation".
It condemned in-vitro fertilisation, saying the techniques "proceed as if the human embryo were simply a mass of cells to be used, selected and discarded."
The highly technical document said only adult stem cell research was moral because embryonic stem cell research involved the destruction of embryos.
In the document, the Vatican also defended its right to intervene on such matters.
(Excerpt) Read more at theaustralian.news.com.au ...
Too funny. The article is about the stance of the Vatican on IVF, and you have not yet made a comment on point.
But are you sure “*most* IVFers choose to destroy leftover embryos?”
It’s my understanding, that in the U.S. at least, last I read anyway, the vast majority of IVFers are choosing to do NOTHING AT ALL with all those frozen embryos.
They are torn and indecisive. Many of them pay increasing storage fees every year (the clinics hope that increasing fees exponentially will push them into making a decision about them) but nevertheless keep them frozen rather than destroy them.
Not that that’s much better, but theoretically they could all be chosen to be donated to other infertile couples or placed for adoption.
It is individual sin that’s the problem here, not a problem with IVF per se.
Petronski: “...All that jazz...”
Yes, yes, all that.
Like I implied before, I am not arguing pro/cons of various political dimensions of human society... but if you insist my opinion, yes, the Communist/ Fascist systems have already been relegated to the dustbins of history. Free Capitalism is the only system that works, and sadly, America has abandoned it.
Coming back to the thread, I’m arguing from the vantage point that has in its view all humanity, and the surrounding systems that are interlinked with it. I’m arguing the terms that nature has set, regarding our existence; not what we, as a civilization, have created, these 200-400 years ago. Our human rights are fragile, artificial creations that need our active protection, compared to the rules of life. Clarification enough?
>>The onus is on you to produce to the proof. <<
Actually, the onus is on you.
Putting up links to three clinics doesn’t really show me where they say they will not transfer more than three embryos, nor any regulations concerning it.
This is your alligation. I have provided links to two places where women state that they have had more. You state that a clinic would be shut down for doing this. It’s on you to prove it. Not give me links where I can “start”. I’m not doing your research.
Oh and for your last link, this is a quote
“ but some physicians say that most IVF patients are not interested in single-embryo transfer”
You mean, like, a Constitutional right? There's no such thing as a Constitutional right to have biological progeny. None.
Which doesn't have to do with the Vatican's stance on IVF and contraception.
Go through the length of the thread. Get back, once you’ve done that.
I don’t do re-runs.
It's not a mere Constitutinal right that requires the protection of men; it's the law of Life, as a whole. Unchangeable, universally applicable, and true.
No, on second thought, it makes perfect sense, since quoting my actual words would mean responding to them.
...the Communist/ Fascist systems have already been relegated to the dustbins of history...
As I said, Santayana was right.
Coming back to the thread...
Some of us never left it.
>>Its my understanding, that in the U.S. at least, last I read anyway, the vast majority of IVFers are choosing to do NOTHING AT ALL with all those frozen embryos.<<
So, I’m seriously asking here and not looking to debate on this, do you have a reference to that?
If I had a uterus, I’d take one!
Keeping embryos frozen in perpetuity is not homicide.
That's your right to choose. You have willingly chosen to place yourself in that position, accepting the risk that follows from removing yourself from the mad game life on this planet sets for all. Whether you will be rewarded or your genetic legacy punished, in the long run, will depend solely on whether the entity of God exists, or not.
The primary reason for IVF, let's assume, is for an infertile couple to become parents, right? (I'm going somewhere with this, honestly)
Perpetual wrongful imprisonment. How Soviet....
First, placing an innocent and defensive life, wrongfully, in a position where it is likely to languish and die is certainly murder when death results, if not homicide. There is no true "perpetuity" here, more like "indefinitely."
Secondly, and more important, there are other evils besides murder. Indefinite wrongful imprisonment is certainly one.
Everyone who supports these things has already been born.
Don't let that distract you. I used that to symbolize that whole block of text that you had typed. I was lazy to put it all again, here. But you knew that, but wanted to distract, nonetheless. Don't worry, I've gotten used to that from you.
Some of us never left it.
Yes, you did establish a physical presence in the discussion, no doubt. But most of your arguments were more aimed at attacking the poster than the original argument. Don't try to claim otherwise; it is evident for all to see, here.
“...defensive...” should of course read “...defenseless...”
In addition, you stated in Post #95 that frozen embryos degenerate over time. If they do, then perpetuity is not possible. Plus that other bummer that humans will not exist forever, so the whole point of freezing embryos in perpetuity is moot anyway, but you knew that.
But most of your arguments were more aimed at attacking the poster than the original argument.
Your posts here are not the 'original argument.' I'm attacking neither you nor the original argument. I'm attacking your fascist arguments.
You didn’t fix anything. You made my point. Your “fix” is a sin.
Aw, what was I looking for again... oh yea, "YAWN!!!"
Those arguments were regarding the comparison between the terminally ill, in vegetative states, being hooked up to life-support machines and frozen embryos. Both are more or less in the same predicament.
I think I read that the “oldest” frozen embryo to actually lead to a live birth was an embryo that had been frozen for 10 years.
Just wanted to add this to the discussion.
There is nothing wrong in wanting to be biological parents. Just because you have the means to be so, does not negate the right of another to enjoy the benefits of the same. You cannot choose for them, whether they may have a genetic legacy or not.
Well, a couple does not have to necessarily be infertile to use IVF to become pregnant.
I read that Angelina Jolie chose IVF to have her last baby instead of having sex with Brad Pitt because she thought it would be “faster” or whatever. (Hugely debatable.)
Personally, I’d rather have sex with Brad Pitt than undergo an IVF cycle.
Things seem funny when you are incapable of understanding the underlying basics...
Stop the machines that keep the embryo or the patient alive, and you will have lumps of dead organic mass.
>>IVF is no different.<<
Yes it is. In nature one egg a month, maybe two is lost when it does not adhere to the uterine wall. It certainly doesn’t happen every month.
In IVF, according to the references here, 5 to 17 eggs are fertilized. 3 or more are attempted to adhere. The rest are frozen or thrown away. Those that are frozen have a good chance of deteriorating and are not viable in the end.
So we have created 5 to 17 humans. CHOSE to do that.
Think of it this way. The difference between a natural miscarriage and the intentional destruction of embryos is precisely the difference between the unfortunate case of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome vs. the unconscionable case of smothering an infant with a pillow. What Mother Nature does and what I freely choose to do as an acting person are two separate realities, not to be confused. To put it dramatically, the fact that Mother Nature sends tsunamis that claim the lives of thousands of victims doesn’t somehow make it OK for me to shoot a machine gun into a crowded stadium and claim thousands of victims of my own.
(quoted from a dear Priest)
Oh yea, the rules of life, are "fascist" for you. How quaint!
Like I mentioned earlier, there is no defined moment of transition, with respect to time, when the embryo stops being a living entity. Since the boundary is not sharp, and as per the trend over here to define such phenomena as "chance," "upto God" and all that, ahem, jazz, I included that. You really can't prove that you can't freeze embryos perpetually.
I included this to compare the situation with the terminally ill, on machines.
You're the one that has painted IVF with the broad, evil brush. I'm simply trying to point out that the vast majority of IVF clinics are ethical, as are IVF patients. As in anything, there are bad apples- and ones who allegedly transfer six embryos are one of them.
But you simply can not say that all IVF clinics are bad because of the actions of one, not can you say that all IVF patients are bad, immoral, etc. because of the few who discard life. Yes, there are stupid people everywhere. And they sometimes so IVF.
I have witnessed IVF first hand with a dear friend and been though her ups and downs, joys and heart aches. And she and her husband have two beautiful girls thanks to this technology. Another friend at work has a beautiful son from IVF and recently miscarried her twins, also from IVF (frozen embryo transfers).
According to sociologists, humans do not have instincts.
The term “instincts” has had a long and varied use in psychology. In the 1870s, Wilhelm Wundt established the first psychology laboratory. At that time, psychology was primarily a branch of philosophy, but behavior became increasingly examined within the framework of the scientific method. This method has come to dominate all branches of science. While use of the scientific method led to increasingly rigorous definition of terms, by the close of the 19th century most repeated behavior was considered instinctual. In a survey of the literature at that time, one researcher chronicled 4000 human instincts, meaning someone applied the label to any behavior that was repetitive. As research became more rigorous and terms better defined, instinct as an explanation for human behavior became less common. In a conference in 1960, chaired by Frank Beach, a pioneer in comparative psychology and attended by luminaries in the field, the term was restricted in its application. During the 60’s and 70’s, textbooks still contained some discussion of instincts in reference to human behavior. By the year 2000, a survey of the 12 best selling textbooks in Introductory Psychology revealed only one reference to instincts, and that was in regard to Freud’s referral to the “id” instincts.
Any repeated behavior can be called “instinctual.” As can any behavior for which there is a strong innate component. However, to distinguish behavior beyond the control of the organism from behavior that has a repetitive component we can turn to the book “Instinct”(1961) stemming from the 1960 conference. A number of criteria were established which distinguishes instinctual from other kinds of behavior. To be considered instinctual a behavior must a) be automatic, b) be irresistible, c) occur at some point in development, d) be triggered by some event in the environment, e) occur in every member of the species, f) be unmodifiable, and g) govern behavior for which the organism needs no training (although the organism may profit from experience and to that degree the behavior is modifiable). The absence of one or more of these criteria indicates that the behavior is not fully instinctual. Instincts do exist in insects and animals as can be seen in behaviors that can not be changed by learning. Psychologists do recognize that humans do have biological predispositions or behaviors that are easy to learn due to biological wiring, for example walking and talking.
If these criteria are used in a rigorous scientific manner, application of the term “instinct” cannot be used in reference to human behavior. When terms, such as mothering, territoriality, eating, mating, and so on, are used to denote human behavior they are seen to not meet the criteria listed above. In comparison to animal behavior such as hibernation, migration, nest building, mating and so on that are clearly instinctual, no human behavior meets the necessary criteria. And even in regard to animals, in many cases if the correct learning is stopped from occurring these instinctual behaviors disappear, suggesting that they are potent, but limited, biological predispostions. In the final analysis, under this definition, there are no human instincts.”
Maybe. But that was not the essence of the disussion regarding IVF, here.
If people have a problem with what happens with the excess embryos, then that is an entirely different point. But trying to say that it is better to adopt than it is to have genetic progeny, is just too stupid, and indicative of their inability to understand the importance of reproduction in this biosphere that we all belong to.
To put it plainly, this is a friction between what we, as humans, have created to shield ourselves from the harsher aspects of life outside our artificial construct of societies with the rule of law, and the entire natural world, on the whole.
I won't say that those defending the rights of the embryo are in the wrong; people like them are as much essential to our survival, because they enable the formation of societies which support our lifestyles comfortably insulated from the outside natural world, and we, as humans, are critically dependent on our immediate society, as our existence dictates- we won't last too long as individuals, or couples, in the wild.
Now when one force that aligns a biological entity to the entire system (all of life) comes in conflict with another that lies within that system (human society) the latter, by the property of dominance, will supercede, eventually.
OK, I’ll address some of your numbers here:
“In IVF, according to the references here, 5 to 17 eggs are fertilized. 3 or more are attempted to adhere. The rest are frozen or thrown away. Those that are frozen have a good chance of deteriorating and are not viable in the end.”
I’ll go with your 5-17 eggs fertilized, and I’ll go with your 3 or more replaced in the uterus.
HOWEVER, you state the “rest” (meaning between 2-14, after subtracting out the 3 replaced)are “frozen or thrown away.” Not true.
This is what actually happens: 5 to 17 eggs are fertilized, and only perhaps 50-75% of those make it to the day 3 embryo stage in the embryologist’s lab. (Perhaps as bad an attrition rate as nature, perhaps not, no one really knows.)
So now, by day 3, we are down to perhaps 2 to 8 embryos. Then those embryos are generally grown to the day 5 blastocyst stage (better pregnancy rates result from blast transfers, which is when a fertilized egg would naturally implant in the uterine lining). Perhaps 50-75% of day 3 embryos make it to the blast stage. (Again, perhaps as bad an attrition rate as nature, perhaps not, no one really knows.)
So now we are down to between 1-4 blastocysts available for transfer. Most likely 2 are transferred. So that leaves perhaps 2 available for freezing, at best, but keep in mind only 25% of all IVF cycles result in any embryos left over for freezing.
Frozen embryos are not “not viable in the end;” most clinics have a thaw rate of 75% or better these days. (The chance of them implanting is slightly less than a fresh embryo, but FETs—frozen embryo transfers—are approaching fresh cycle rates in many clinics these days.)
And of those 2 transferred, the most likely result is no prengancy. An IVF cycle with 2 transferred has about a 40% chance of being successful. If there is a pregnancy, the most likely result is a singleton pregnancy.
There is no intentional destruction of embryos in an IVF cycle. Quite the opposite.
I'm tiring of this semantic nonsense. You claimed that I was being dishonest somehow, and I showed you why I included those points that led you to decide to label me 'dishonest'. And now you say that this is outside your arguments.
Frankly, I find your arguments more confrontational, albeit weak, than adding anything of value to the discussion. Please don't be surprised if I choose to ignore you from here on.
No, your missing the key word 'MOST"
but some physicians say that MOST IVF patients are not interested in single-embryo transfer
Where in the world are you getting the idea that "few" discard lives? Even if there are 5 made and three implanted, where do you think the other two go? To suspended animation where they eventually erode.
And honestly, you have said over and over that clinics don't implant more than three or four. You have given no links stating this. The proof is in the references.
Your confidence is no substitute for actual proof. Since the transition is more-or-less random and unpredictable, it can be assumed an act of God that killed it... just as in the case of people in vegetative state, hooked onto support-machines, based on the earlier arguments made by the theologists here.
The reason most IVF patients in the U.S. are not interested in single-embryo transfers (SETs) is that the pregnancy rate of SETs is lower than the traditional IVF transfer of 2-3 embryos, although the pregnancy rate is improving every year.
An IVF cycle costs around $10K, and with SET pregnancy rates around 20%, and traditional IVF pregnancy rates around 40%, many patients still avoid SETs, especially after multiple failed cycles.
>>The reason most IVF patients in the U.S. are not interested in single-embryo transfers (SETs) is that the pregnancy rate of SETs is lower than the traditional IVF transfer of 2-3 embryos, although the pregnancy rate is improving every year.
An IVF cycle costs around $10K, and with SET pregnancy rates around 20%, and traditional IVF pregnancy rates around 40%, many patients still avoid SETs, especially after multiple failed cycles.<<
You’re correct and the poster I was answering didn’t understand that.
Please don't be surprised if I choose to ignore you from here on.
Probably your best bet. I've got you on record as believing murder, rape, and even a little socialism are all justified in the name of furthering one's lineage. I've got plenty more rope to lend you, if you need it.
And your point is?
>>And your point is?<<
Your point of the human instinct to procreate overrides all others is based on a false point.
There are no human instincts.
I am not attacking the rules of life, only your fascist formulation of them.
Yes, if you choose to define 'instinct' based on what a small group of scientists in the 60s sat around a table and decided.
Get real, you knew very well what I implied by that word, but delibrately choose to fight over semantics, instead of the essence of what I was trying to say. Please, you are better than that.
This is a liberal way of debate. Frame the debate with a false fact and then demand that everyone else accept your fact as true.
Humans have NO instincts. Including the instinct to reproduce. If it were an instinct, half of Europe wouldn't be looking at filling their population voids with Muslims.
So your entire argument is a moot point.