Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of December 22, 2008
Infertile couples supported in search for ethical solutions
BY GLEN ARGAN
Singh, now pregnant, said she had to have a surgical procedure that would enable her and her husband to conceive a child.
Flaman noted that his wife had an ovarian pregnancy that made future conception impossible. Rather than opting for in vitro fertilization, they chose to adopt.
“We adopted three special needs children and it has enriched our lives enormously.”
Dignatis Personnae restated the Church’s opposition to in vitro fertilization, but also supported several methods for overcoming infertility.
The document judges it morally acceptable to perform surgical techniques to repair or remove blockages in the fallopian tubes, provide hormonal treatment to women who are not ovulating and to seek ways to prevent sterility, Flaman noted.
“The Catholic Church is not against technology. The capacity to create technology is one of the abilities God gave to human beings,” he said.
Singh said the development of ethical procedures for restoring fertility has been “pushed to the sideline because the focus has been so much on in vitro fertilization and on genetic screening through pre-implantation diagnosis.”
Science needs ethical guidance so that it respects the human rights of every person, she said.
'The capacity to create technology is one of the abilities God gave to human beings.'
- Paul Flaman | bioethicist
“The desire to have a child, as the document says, while legitimate and good, should not override the dignity of every human life to the point of absolute supremacy.”
The Catholic Church has opposed in vitro fertilization for several reasons including:
Singh, a lawyer, said if the teachings of Dignatis Personnae were reflected in Canadian law, several current practices would have to be halted.
Those would include in vitro fertilization, the freezing of embryos, embryonic stem cell research, and hybridization (the joining of human and animal biological material).
But the document would also encourage governments to promote adoption, which “has fallen by the wayside because of our rate of abortion,” she said.
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