I am back after a whirlwind week of meeting new friends, experiencing my first real earthquake and writing an affidavit to extend my remarks in Costa Rica last week, I pray for them as they continue their good fight to return the decision to the Local government and to continue to follow the natural law
And I thank Judie Brown for her excellent article on Renew America
However, I want to focus on a post that was placed in response to the article.
A moniker of East Coast IVF Posted this
East Coast IVFThis article is woefuly innaccurate in respect to the process of IVF – operating as a successful IVF practice we do not throw away potential life. The embryos that are discarded have stopped growing and in a lot of cases are dying or dead – most often because of a chromosomal problem. This process happens undetected in a woman’s body all the time. A woman will not conceive with every egg she releases because not every egg and/or sperm has the potential to create a viable life. As Tiffany says below, you are offered the choice to freeze additional embryos if the clinic feels they are developing in a manner that indicates they have the potential to develop. Couples often return for a sibling and use these embryos successfully.
Genetic screening of the embryos to customize a baby is an mis-statement. Most couples will screen embryos if they have a history of miscarriage, a chromosomal translocation (causes miscarriage) or a history of a genetic disorder. Helping prevent the loss of a baby or the birth of a baby who’s disease would be potentially fatal is not making a designer baby. Older women who would be offered pre-natal screening like CVS or amnio have the chance to screen the embryos at the earliest point to avoid a chromosomal problem by not implanting an abnormal embryo. This avoids the decision of terminating an established pregnancy when 10 or 12 weeks pregnant and finding out there is a problem. You cannot pick any physical trait for your child with the exception of the sex of the baby and that decision is up to the individual clinic as to offer that option or not.
Religion is a personal choice and lifestyle which demands the respect of others. This attitude should also be applied to the choice of parenting and the means by which a couple gets there.
First, I am not in any way condoning the rough language that is being used in some of the later posts to the article.
However, Dr Damien speaks with the same authority as any Reproductive Endocrinologist would who looks at the problem from the aspect of the baby. We know, however, that the older that a woman becomes, the more likely she is to have a miscarriage or abnormal child. But taking that out, The IVF process completely breaks down the natural law. Years of evolution have created beings who 1) do not need asexual reproduction to further the species. 2) create a phenomenon of genetic mixing by sexual reproduction. 3) reproduce in the context of a unitive act that has biologic and psychological significance. The sexual act releases hormones in both men and women that draw them closer together
When we do IVF, we break apart that closeness. The male produces his part in a bathroom or a room that is compete with stimulatory “aids” that have nothing to do with his wife.
The woman takes a series of drugs whose delivery systems are such that they are intended for self administration.
A third party performs monitoring to determine when the time right.
And the removal of the eggs (the retrieval or artificial ovulation) is done in an operating room without the husband. And the patient is typically asleep
The fertilization process, which occurs in the fallopian tube naturally, actually happens in in an incubator, while the couple sleeps in their home.
And then the embryos are transferred by a third party into the uterus.
There are a couple of things that are not stated in the response. First, we know that the protocols that are used to prepare the ovary for IVF actually create chromosomal abnormalities in the egg. This is confirmed by none other than the father of American IVF Howard Jones who speaks to the great inefficiency of IVF, that only 5% of the oocytes retrieved actually become babies. There are also studies which have found that the stimulation protocols of IVF lead to increased egg and then embryo abnormalities. This appears to be reduced with milder stimulation, but American IVF community know that this leads to a lower pregnancy rate.
As for chromosomal abnormalities and preimplantation genetic diagnosis. In it’s original form, on the surface, it seems legitimate. Patients with genetically confirmed pregnancy loss, or some genetic disease, can undergo PGD and improve the chances of a normal delivery. But if normal embryos can be found by PGD, woudn’t the natural law eventually find that as well. And it is such a small step from this to screening out the boys or the girls, whether for desire, or “family balancing.” And I am not so sure that we are far away from offering it to everyone for traits that we have not even begun to imagine. With the Human genome project complete, anything is possible. Not to be cynical, but these procedures, especially the newer chip arrays, are expensive to run, and volume tends to reduce the unit cost.
Many of the embryos lost in today’s culture systems were used in transfers in the earlier days with decent pregnancy rates. Because of more nutritionally complete and sequential culture systems, we are looking for better and better quality embryos. Indeed, some of the embryos that are not frozen for fear that they will not survive the thaw, have been used in the past. Indeed, there is a Doctor in Chile who freezes all the embryos at the zygote or 2pn embryo state. He thaws a couple each cycle and transfers them, whether or not they are good. And he states that his pregnancy results are great
Finally, the frozen embryos. Let us think of a scenario. The patient has 10 eggs, 7 fertilize. 5 are good for transfer. Two and transferred, three are frozen.
The patient conceives with triplets. She has gestational diabetes, preeclmapsia, and needs a Cesarian section for the babies at 34 weeks. The Babies spend a little time in the new born nursery and then go home, healthy. Now she and her husband have three children, when they only really wanted one or maybe two. What is the likelihood that she is going to go back for her frozen embryos? And if she doesn’t, how will she talk to the kids about the birds and the bees? How about telling them how they got here? And how will they describe the frozen embryos in the freezer? As Siblings?
Though we couch this in a religious cocoon, and Catholic teaching is consistent with the time of the apostles and Jesus, it really isn’t as much about the Catholic teaching as it is about natural law. In nature, there are no laboratories around. And, while there is no guarantee that if we lived a moral existence and didn’t wait so long to open ourselves to marriage and children, a large part of this problem would be solved.
Servant of God, Jerome Lejeune, pray for us
St Anne, Pray for us
St Gianna, Pray for us
- The “ART” Baby and God: Why IVF Is Wrong By Judie Brown (deaconjohnspace.wordpress.com)