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16/01/2014 1 Human sexuality and In Vitro Fertilization Fr. James McTavish FMVD Fr. James McTavish FMVD.

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Presentation on theme: "16/01/2014 1 Human sexuality and In Vitro Fertilization Fr. James McTavish FMVD Fr. James McTavish FMVD."— Presentation transcript:

1 16/01/ Human sexuality and In Vitro Fertilization Fr. James McTavish FMVD Fr. James McTavish FMVD

2 ESSENTIALS Union The two shall become one Union The two shall become one ProcreationGo forth and multiply ProcreationGo forth and multiply HumanPhysical nature HumanPhysical nature DivineVocation, mission, eternity DivineVocation, mission, eternity 16/01/2014 2

3 Infertility If 100 just married couples begin having sexual relations (with no previous use of contraceptives) then within one year, 80 % of the women would be pregnant. If 100 just married couples begin having sexual relations (with no previous use of contraceptives) then within one year, 80 % of the women would be pregnant. Of the remainder, 10 % would be classified as subfertile Of the remainder, 10 % would be classified as subfertile But 10 % would be infertile. But 10 % would be infertile. 16/01/2014 3

4 Problems in the male account for 25% of cases of infertility Problems in the male account for 25% of cases of infertility In the female 40 % In the female 40 % And combined male/female problems in the remaining 35%. And combined male/female problems in the remaining 35%. 16/01/2014 4

5 Infertility is a growing problem. Some probable causes include; Delayed marriages and later childbearing Delayed marriages and later childbearing Sexually transmitted diseases Sexually transmitted diseases Pollution Pollution Diet Diet Lack of exercise Lack of exercise Previous contraceptive use leading to sterility Previous contraceptive use leading to sterility Sterility from previous abortion Sterility from previous abortion Falling sperm count in males (medicines, alcohol etc) Falling sperm count in males (medicines, alcohol etc) 16/01/2014 5

6 I.V.F. InInInIn Vitro Fertilization Test tube babies 16/01/2014 6

7 Louise Brown, 1978 Louise Brown,

8 Dr Edwards, IVF pioneer I wanted to find out exactly who was in charge, whether it was God Himself or whether it was scientists in the laboratory. I wanted to find out exactly who was in charge, whether it was God Himself or whether it was scientists in the laboratory. And what did he conclude? "It was us," he smiles triumphantly. "It was us," he smiles triumphantly. 8

9 Today there are more than 3 million IVF babies 16/01/2014 9

10 Success rate of IVF? Success rates vary and are often exaggerated Success rates vary and are often exaggerated To attract more clients To attract more clients Probably around % successful Probably around % successful 16/01/

11 How much does it cost? Average cost of total treatment Average cost of total treatment $10,000 - $25, 000 (American dollars) $10,000 - $25, 000 (American dollars) Industry generates $ 2 billion per year. 16/01/

12 THE TECHNIQUE OF IVF There are generally four major steps in the process of IVF: 1. Collect eggs from the woman 2. Obtain sperm from the man 3. In the laboratory place eggs and sperm together to allow for fertilization, to create embryos. (ICSI-Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection since 1990s.) 4. Transfer embryos into uterus of woman 16/01/

13 THE TECHNIQUE OF IVF 16/01/

14 THE MORAL ISSUES The spread of technologies of intervention in the processes of human procreation raises very serious moral problems (Donum Vitae, Part III). 16/01/

15 1. Collect eggs from the woman The woman is given drugs to hyper-ovulate (produce many eggs). The drugs can cause side effects such as abdominal pain, nausea etc. 16/01/

16 2. Obtain sperm from the man Obtaining sperm by masturbation may be morally objectionable Obtaining sperm by masturbation may be morally objectionable Sometimes donor sperm may be used Sometimes donor sperm may be used 16/01/

17 3. In the laboratory place eggs and sperm together to allow for fertilization, to create embryos Embryos are created in the laboratory (the test tube) thus human fertilization occurs apart from sexual intercourse and outside the human body. Embryos are created in the laboratory (the test tube) thus human fertilization occurs apart from sexual intercourse and outside the human body. The unitive-procreative dimension of the conjugal act is lost. The unitive-procreative dimension of the conjugal act is lost. 16/01/

18 The destruction of embryos Many embryos created. Healthy ones kept but defective embryos are destroyed. Many embryos created. Healthy ones kept but defective embryos are destroyed. Healthy embryos can be transferred to woman or they can be frozen for use at later date. Sometimes they are experimented on. Healthy embryos can be transferred to woman or they can be frozen for use at later date. Sometimes they are experimented on. 16/01/2014r 18 The human being is to be respected and treated as a person from the moment of conception Pope John Paul II

19 The problem of frozen embryos In USA there are >400,000 frozen embryonic persons, a kind of hell of ice. In USA there are >400,000 frozen embryonic persons, a kind of hell of ice. In thawing them 50 % will die. In thawing them 50 % will die. Worldwide there are up to 1 million frozen embryos Worldwide there are up to 1 million frozen embryos What to do with the frozen embryos? What to do with the frozen embryos? 16/01/

20 4. Transfer embryos into uterus of woman Many embryos implanted in mothers womb (usually 2-4) to increase chance of pregnancy. Many embryos implanted in mothers womb (usually 2-4) to increase chance of pregnancy. Should too large a number of embryos start to grow, the excess embryos are usually aborted (called pregnancy reduction). Should too large a number of embryos start to grow, the excess embryos are usually aborted (called pregnancy reduction). 16/01/

21 CONCLUSIONS Why the Church says NO to IVF Why the Church says NO to IVF 1. Separation of the unitive-procreative dimension of the conjugal act 16/01/

22 The inseparable connection: union and procreation The Church's teaching on marriage and human procreation affirms the inseparable connection, willed by God and unable to be broken by man on his own initiative, between the two meanings of the conjugal act: the unitive meaning and the procreative meaning. By safeguarding both these essential aspects, the unitive and the procreative, the conjugal act preserves in its fullness the sense of true mutual love and its ordination toward man's exalted vocation to parenthood see Humanae Vitae 12 16/01/

23 CONCLUSIONS Currently the number of embryos sacrificed, even in the most technically advanced centers of artificial fertilization, hovers above 80%. (Footnote 27, Dignitas Personae) 16/01/ Massive destruction of human life

24 CONCLUSIONS 3. The child must be a gift not a product The child has the right to be the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal love of his parents. CCC /01/

25 The child becomes a manufacturing product and not a gift A child …cannot be desired or conceived as the product of an intervention of medical or biological techniques; that would be equivalent to reducing him to an object of scientific technology. Donum Vitae II, B,4,c 16/01/ Product

26 Genetic testing A kind of quality control selection A kind of quality control selection Where is it going? Where is it going? To create the perfect baby – disease free, blond hair, blue eyed, good footie player … To create the perfect baby – disease free, blond hair, blue eyed, good footie player … See Gattaca video clip See Gattaca video clip 16/01/

27 Pastoral support The community of believers is called to shed light upon and support the suffering of infertile couples…Spouses are called to find in it an opportunity for sharing in a particular way in the Lord's Cross, the source of spiritual fruitfulness…Physical sterility can be the occasion for other important services to the life of the human person, for example, adoption, various forms of educational work, and assistance to other families and to poor or handicapped children. (Cf. DV, II, B, 8,d) 16/01/

28 Although the manner in which human conception is achieved with IVF and ET cannot be approved, every child which comes into the world must in any case be accepted as a living gift of the divine Goodness and must be brought up with love. Donum Vitae II, B5 16/01/

29 16/01/ You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb. Fearfully and wonderfully made! Psalm 139

30 The Church is announcing a big YES to life! The Churchs mission to protect the poor…implies courageous opposition to all those practices which result in grave and unjust discrimination against unborn human beings, who have the dignity of a person, created like others in the image of God. Behind every no in the difficult task of discerning between good and evil, there shines a great yes to the recognition of the dignity and inalienable value of every single and unique human being called into existence. (Conclusions, D.Pae) 16/01/

31 16/01/ Thank you!

32 16/01/ Questions Questions 1. If you are asked as a Catholic on what basis does the Church say no to IVF? can you now explain it? 2. How do you understand the inseparability of the unitive and procreative dimensions of the conjugal act? 3. What is your ethical opinion about embryo destruction and freezing?


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