|The dangers of ‘in vitro fertilisation’ - Apr 24|
|Life Truths - 2011|
|Thursday, 21 April 2011 10:46|
Infertility has approached epidemic levels in Western countries. In 2002, the US Centre for Disease Control found that 7.3 million women suffered from infertility in the country, about 12% of the reproductive-age population. Many of these millions are sped along to IVF doctors; robbed of the joys of natural procreation, they are often slated to endure years of heartache as they strive unsuccessfully for a child. (LifeSiteNews)
“This procedure is dangerous for women. The “harvesting” of a woman’s ovum (egg) can be deadly. Obstetricians have noted in a recent BMJ Journals editorial that while only two women died as a result of having an abortion in Britain in 2007, seven died as a direct result of IVF between 2003 and 2005. This happened even though there are only a quarter the number of IVF cycles as abortions, according to Dr Susan Bewley, a consultant obstetrician at Guy's and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust in London.
“Four of the IVF deaths between 2003 and 2005 were from ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, brought on by fertility-boosting drugs, while three were due to multiple pregnancies.
“A recent study from the Netherlands showed that overall IVF pregnancy mortality rates were higher than overall mortality rates in the general population of the Netherlands. There were 42 deaths per 100,000 IVF pregnancies as opposed to 6 deaths per 100,000 pregnancies overall. UK results have confirmed this.” (BioEdge)
Eggsploitation, (www.eggsploitation.com/index.htm) a powerful, disturbing documentary, tells the heart-wrenching stories of egg donors who suffered devastating consequences, including lost fertility, serious disability, and near death. This award-winning film sends a critical warning to young women thinking about donating their eggs: Don’t.
Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis is used to choose which embryos are to be implanted. These are living human beings most of whom will be discarded (killed) or frozen for research purposed. According to figures published in Human Reproduction, a journal of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology, over 40,000 embryos were artificially created in 2006 (the latest year for which numbers are available), but only 1,206 children were ultimately born. In other words: “For one healthy child conceived with PGD you pay the price of over 30 dead embryos”, as noted PGD-critic Manfred Spieker points out. For this well-known ethicist, this is an unacceptable number. But it is not the main reason why PGD should never be allowed in the first place.
Human embryos obtained in vitro are human beings and subjects with rights: their dignity and right to life must be respected from the first moment of their existence. It is immoral to produce human embryos destined to be exploited as disposable "biological material."
In the usual practice of IVF, not all of the embryos are transferred to the woman's body; some are destroyed. Just as the Church condemns induced abortion, so she also forbids acts against the life of these human beings.
All kinds of bad consequences are caused by the IVF technology. One that is a growing problem is surrogacy. In one of several cases, a 57-year-old UK woman gave birth to her own grandson after her daughter was medically unable to have a child, after four attempts at IVF treatment with no success. A growing number of women “rent” their womb so that infertile couples, or same-sex partners, could get a child.
Is there help for couples experiencing infertility? Yes
“The Church fully supports the endeavours of physicians such as Dr Thomas Hilgers, director of the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction. His natural methods of overcoming infertility, known as NaPro Technology, have helped hundreds of couples to achieve a pregnancy without recourse to illicit means. While no couple has a ‘right’ to a child, they should be afforded all the means licit and available to help them achieve a pregnancy to the extent possible.” (Westchester Institute)
“The evidence and experience of NaPro suggests the advent of IVF has resulted in unnecessary physical harm and emotional heartache for countless infertile couples and their families. The failure in IVF to diagnose the underlying causes of infertility results in major health problems in women. Beyond simply the inability to bear children, infertility is a symptom of diseases - such as endometriosis, polycystic ovarian disease, anovulation, and tubal occlusion - that can lead to long-term disability, a lower quality of life, and even premature death. Women who are infertile can suffer pelvic pain and irritable bowel syndrome, high blood pressure, and cholesterol problems, and are at increased risk for heart attack and diabetes, as well as ovarian and breast cancer.
“Because the focus is on promoting the woman’s health, NaPro aims to restore fertility in the long-term, meaning there is a much better chance of conceiving naturally into the future. NaPro is morally acceptable, maintains the integrity of the human person, and respects the dignity of women and of marriage.” (LifeSiteNews)