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In Vitro Fertilization and Its Ethical Dilemmas

Ethical Dilemmas with In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)


In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a medical procedure that has been used for decades to help couples who are struggling with infertility. However, as with any medical procedure, there are ethical dilemmas associated with IVF. In this blog post, we will explore some of the ethical issues surrounding IVF, using the book "An Introduction to Biblical Ethics" by Copan and McQuilkin as a guide. Since this is a sensitive topic, we want to approach these concerns with empathy and compassion. Many women have tried IVF after miscarriages, survivors have underwent IVF procedures after forced abortions, and many women have struggled or are currently struggling with infertility. This post is not to condemn you. Rather, we want to address the ethical issues revolving around IVF


The Creation and Destruction of Embryos


One of the most significant ethical dilemmas associated with IVF is the creation and destruction of embryos. IVF involves fertilizing eggs outside of the body and then implanting them into the uterus. However, not all of the fertilized eggs are used, and many are discarded. This raises questions about the moral status of embryos and whether it is ethical to create them in the first place if they may not be used.According to Copan and McQuilkin, "the Bible teaches that human life is sacred and should be protected from conception to natural death"1.


Embryos should be treated with the same respect and dignity as any other human life. Therefore, the creation and destruction of embryos is a significant ethical issue that must be carefully considered.


Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)


Another ethical issue associated with IVF is preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). PGD is a technique used to screen embryos for genetic disorders before they are implanted. While this can help prevent the birth of children with serious genetic disorders, it also raises concerns about eugenics and the selection of "desirable" traits.Copan and McQuilkin argue that "the Bible teaches that all human beings are created in the image of God and have inherent value and dignity"1.


The selection of embryos based on their genetic traits is morally problematic. While PGD can be used to prevent the birth of children with serious genetic disorders, it should not be used to select for "desirable" traits.


Commercialization of IVF


Finally, the commercialization of IVF is another ethical issue that must be considered. IVF is a costly procedure, and many couples are unable to afford it. This has led to the development of a commercial IVF industry, which raises concerns about the exploitation of vulnerable couples. Both the mother and the embryos can become more of a commodity, which is deeply troubling. According to Copan and McQuilkin, "the Bible teaches that we should not take advantage of the poor or vulnerable"1, rather speak up for those who can't speak for themselves, according to Proverbs 31:8-9.


The commercialization of IVF is troubling. While IVF should be available to couples who need it, it should not be used as a way to exploit vulnerable couples for financial gain.


Conclusion


In conclusion, IVF is a medical procedure that raises significant ethical dilemmas. The creation and destruction of embryos, preimplantation genetic diagnosis, and the commercialization of IVF are all issues that must be carefully considered. As Copan and McQuilkin argue, "ethical questions that are often raised in the debate cannot be disentangled from ethical principles, nor from social, political, and philosophical considerations"1.


Therefore, it is essential to approach IVF with a thoughtful and ethical mindset, taking into account the moral implications of this procedure.





References:

1 Copan, P., & McQuilkin, R. (2014). An Introduction to Biblical Ethics: Walking in the Way of Wisdom. Wipf and Stock Publishers.

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