Infertility: A Crossroad of Faith, Medicine, and Technology (Philosophy and Medicine)

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This would violate the principle of distributive justice , which requires that society's benefits and burdens be parceled out equitably among different groups Macklin, However, if poor women and men have voluntarily and knowingly accepted their role in these reproductive projects, it could be seen as unjustifiably paternalistic to deny them the opportunity to earn money. The possibility of exploitation of the poor must be weighed "against a possible step toward their liberation through economic gain" from a new source of income connected to innovative methods of reproduction Radin.

When the process of fertilization is external, the embryo becomes accessible to many forms of intervention. During the brief extracorporeal, in vitro period, embryos can be frozen, treated, implanted, experimented on, discarded, or donated. Theoretically, embryos that result from IVF could be cryopreserved for generations, so that a woman could give birth to her genetic uncle, siblings could be born to different sets of parents, or one sibling could be born to another.

A experiment in which human embryos were split reawakened concerns about these sorts of possibilities, which had remained dormant since a mids controversy about cloning human beings National Advisory Board. Cloning, either by transplanting the nucleus from a differentiated cell into an unfertilized egg from which the nucleus has been removed or by splitting an embryo at an early stage when its cells are still undifferentiated, results in individuals who are genetically identical to the original from which they are cloned.

Advocates of embryo splitting view it as a way of obtaining greater numbers of embryos for implantation in order to enhance the chances of pregnancy for those who are infertile Robertson, Critics claim that cloning in any form negates what we view as valuable about human beings, their individuality and uniqueness.

It risks treating children as fungible products to be manipulated at will, rather than as unique, self-determining individuals. These critics maintain that twinning that occurs in nature is an unavoidable accident that does not involve manipulation of one child-tobe to produce a duplicate McCormick, Defenders of cloning respond that the similarity of identical twins does not diminish their uniqueness or their sense of selfhood.

In any case, cloned individuals would not be identical in that the genome does not fully determine a person's identity. Environmental factors, such as family upbringing and the historical context, weigh heavily in influencing the expression of genes National Advisory Board. It is the potential for abuse of cloning that disturbs most critics. The possibility of cryopreserving cloned embryos suggests the option of implanting cloned embryos and bringing them to term should their already-born twin need a tissue or organ transplant.

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In another scenario, embryos derived from parents who are likely to produce "ideal specimens" would be cloned and sold on a " black market. They are concerned that the deep desire of the infertile for children, in combination with scientific zeal and market forces, will create strong pressure to clone embryos without a view to the ethical considerations involved.

1. The Context of ‘Exterior homo’

In scientists in the United Kingdom announced the possibility of using for infertility treatment eggs and ovaries taken from aborted fetuses Carroll and Gosden. The eggs could be fertilized in vitro and then transferred into infertile women who lack viable eggs; the ovaries could be transplanted directly into women to mature and produce eggs. This would help meet the shortage of oocytes for those who lack their own. Such uses of aborted fetuses, however, are highly contentious and strike some as grotesque. Many who object to abortion on ethical grounds maintain that this procedure, like other forms of fetal tissue use, would encourage the practice.

Moreover, it seems self-contradictory for a woman to consent to abortion and at the same time consent to become a grandmother. Children created by this procedure, it could be argued, would know little about their genetic heritage or about their mother, other than that she was a dead fetus, and would therefore be at risk of both psychological and social harm. Female cadavers provide another potential source of oocytes for those who are infertile.

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It has been proposed that women consider donating their ovaries for use by others after their death, much as individuals donate organs such as kidneys and livers Seibel. It may soon be possible to collect immature eggs from cadavers, mature and fertilize them in vitro, and then transfer them into infertile women. This procedure would have an advantage over the use of eggs from aborted fetuses in that the recipient would be able to learn the medical and genetic history of the adult donor. An argument for this practice is that it would allow the continuation of the family's biological heritage and serve to console the grieving family because some aspect of their deceased relative will have been preserved.

Postmortem recovery of eggs would be done with the consent of the donor and would therefore respect individual rights and allow freedom of choice for individuals and their close relatives.

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It is safe to say that the Catholic religion would reject funding for these very reasons. National Bioethics Consultative Committee Australia. Judaism completely rejects that idea of the separation of God and his divinity from science. ProQuest Ebrary. Only very few people who use herbal medicines informed their primary care physicians.

This proposal is grounded in an analogy between organ and gamete donation. Yet gamete donation is different in that it involves the provision of an essential factor for bringing a child into existence; it is not life-saving but life-giving. The interests of the resulting children, consequently, provide a major consideration to be taken into account in determining whether such procedures ought to be pursued.

The difficulty noted earlier in connection with the introduction of third parties arises in this instance as well. Children develop their identity and self-understanding, in part, through their relationships with their biological parents. Consequently, they might face serious psychological and social harm if one of their biological parents were a cadaver. Indeed, this concern amounts to a central social concern as well, in that the prospect of using gametes derived from the newly dead in order to create children endangers our perception of the respect due to the dead human body and our view of procreation as ideally grounded in an interpersonal relationship between living persons.

Although those able to procreate naturally can decide whether and when to do so, the choice to reproduce among those who need medical assistance to do so is more limited. In part, this is because they enter a healthcare system in which providers have responsibilities both to candidates for infertility treatment and to the resulting child, because they are assisting in the creation of a new human being. Although physicians have a special obligation to respect the autonomy and freedom of those who are candidates for treatment, they are not obligated to provide them with all treatments that they request Chervenak and McCullough.

As one of several groups of gatekeepers of the new reproductive technologies, some physicians use a medicalindications criterion to bar access to these technologies to some patients, as when, for example, the physical risk of pregnancy is too great. Yet many physicians find that they cannot easily separate medical indications from indications that are psychological, social, and ethical. Questions requiring judgments that go beyond those that are strictly medical arise in many situations. Physicians are not usually trained to address ethical questions that arise in such situations.

Because physicians have personal and professional biases and are part of a largely unregulated and profitable infertility industry, it might be appropriate to assign the gatekeeper role to a specially trained group of professionals who are not physicians. Another possibility is to utilize guidelines for the use of the new reproductive technologies prepared by physician professional associations, institutional ethics committees, private-sector ethics boards, public ethics commissions, and state and national regulatory agencies; such guidelines should address not only medical but social, psychological, and ethical issues Cohen, ; Fletcher. Public-policymakers and private healthcare insurance regulators also affect who gains access to the new reproductive technologies.

If they define infertility treatment as a response to a disease rather than to a social need, a case for financial support of the new reproductive technologies can be made. Because infertility is a physical condition that impairs normal function, many commentators regard it as something like a disease, the victims of which are in need of help from medical science Overall. However, it can also be argued that since reproductive technologies do not correct the condition causing infertility, they do not constitute medical treatment for a disease. Yet many well-accepted treatments do not correct the underlying condition but only its symptoms or disabilities.

Given the importance to many people of having a biological child and the fact that normal functioning allows this, the claim has been made that infertility should be treated as a disease on a par with other physical impairments. Historically, the barren woman or man has not been accorded sympathy; the availability of infertility treatment might disarm similar current discriminatory attitudes toward those who are infertile.

Reproductive Technologies: VIII. Ethical Issues

Even if infertility were defined as a disease, however, this would not indicate that its treatment would be ethically mandatory. The U. Should the new reproductive technologies be subject to more severe criteria for funding than are set for other medical techniques? Because infertility is a physical dysfunction with significant effects on the life plans of those it affects, it can be contended that a just society should include reproductive technologies among the range of treatments covered. The opposing argument is that the costs of such treatment and its relatively low likelihood of success do not justify its inclusion.

A related issue arises from the fact that only a limited range of people—those with greater financial resources—benefit from the new reproductive technologies.

Infertility : a crossroad of faith, medicine, and technology /

Access depends on economic factors, culture, race, and social class. Those in the United States who are poor have little access to specialty services such as infertility clinics because public and private insurers provide limited coverage. If poor people participate at all in the use of these technologies, they do so as surrogates or occasionally as oocyte donors.

Thus, the use of new reproductive technologies has potential for creating further unjust schisms in our society between rich and poor and between one subculture and another. As long as IVF services and gametes are in short supply, questions will arise about how to select candidates from among those who seek access to the new methods of assisted reproduction.

Those persons who are infertile or who carry a serious genetic disease may have a greater first claim than those who are not infertile but who wish to use these methods to select the features of their children or as a matter of personal convenience. This is because the need of the former is a more basic need, directly related to the goal of remedying a difficulty in normal species functioning. A more refined set of rationing priorities would take account of such factors as the number of children an individual or a couple already has; whether they have a support system in place to assist them to care for a child adequately; and the greater medical risk to certain recipients of treatment, such as women of advanced reproductive age.

These considerations would be grounded in the interests of the potential children and of their would-be parents, as well as in the need to distribute the number of children among couples in an equitable way. Behind many of the ethical issues raised by the new reproductive technologies lie difficult questions about the importance of genetic parenthood, the nuclear family, and the welfare of children, as well as the role that society should play in overseeing the creation of its citizens.

Perplexity about how to resolve these questions is due, in part, to the speed with which these technologies are being developed. There is a growing concern that they are being created too rapidly, before the old technologies, such as artificial insemination, have been integrated into the ethical and social fabric. As the rate of reproductive change accelerates, the ability to provide ethical safeguards for the creation and use of the new reproductive technologies diminishes.

This may be the most persuasive reason to provide some form of direction and regulation of the new reproductive technologies that incorporates defensible ethical limits to their use. Andrews, Lori. New York : St. Martin's Press. Bartholet, Elizabeth. Helen Bequaert Holmes. New York : Garland. Family Bonds, Adoption and the Politics of Parenting. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Brock, Dan W. John F. Monagle and David C. Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen. Cahill, Lisa Sowle. Larry O. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Callahan, Joan, ed.

Reproduction, Ethics, and the Law: Feminist Perspectives. Callahan, Sidney. Rockville, MD: Aspen. Royal Commission on New Reproductive Technologies. Ottawa, Canada: Author. See especially Vol. Carroll, John, and Gosden, Roger G.

Original Papers

Infertility: A Crossroad of Faith, Medicine, and Technology (Philosophy and Medicine / Catholic Studies in Bioethics): Medicine & Health. Infertility: A Crossroad of Faith, Medicine, and Technology (Philosophy and Medicine Book 53) - Kindle edition by Kevin Wm. Wildes. Download it once and read.

Catholic Church. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Washington, D. Cohen, Cynthia B. Corea, Gena.