The perils of IVF

 

Chicago doctor left his IVF practice

Mercatornet interviewed by email Dr. Anthony J. Caruso who worked in the field of in vitro fertilization for 15 years before he stopped in 2010.
In this interview Dr. Caruso shared:

“In 2008 I was increasingly concerned about the kind of procedures we were doing. …Then it was the way in which everybody looked at the embryos that had undergone pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. Finally, it was the realization that the embryos that we were producing were just as important as the embryos that were transferred.”

… “The nature of the act is not good. The good effect is a wanted child. However, that desire does not outweigh the negative nature of the act. One need look no further than the way in which embryos are treated to see this.”

He describes how IVF causes children to be seen as commodities:

“Every child is a gift from God. However, the process that brought them into existence has led to an attitude towards the embryo that is no different than any other commodity. If you add pre-implantation diagnosis into the equation, then you really have a situation that is no different than an auto dealership or a department store. “I will take two of these and then freeze these and toss these.” The very people who are showing off their beautiful children will not answer questions about how many frozen embryos are still present or how many they asked to be destroyed. Also, I doubt that anyone has ever thought how they might describe these things to their children—the fate of their siblings—because they are not seen as such. They are seen as simply a means to an end.”

Many people are unaware that IVF sometimes involves ‘selective reduction’, a euphemism for the practice of aborting one baby or more when faced with a pregnancy of triplets or more. The New York Times reported on an alarming trend where now even twin pregnancies are also ‘selectively reduced’ (one baby aborted) so the mother carries only one child. This occurs even in twin pregnancies where the children are naturally conceived.

The practice of IVF can result in the death of many embryos. Some embryos are destroyed either because of a poor genetic diagnosis or simply because they are not needed.

Will this lead to an attitude where only children deemed genetically perfect are accepted?
Dr. Caruso quotes from a 2003 London Times article in which Dr. Peter Brindsen of a Cambridgeshire IVF clinic founded by Dr. Robert Edwards, the pioneer of IVF, says: “in 50 years assisted conception will have almost become the norm. This is because screening techniques will have improved to such an extent that parents can make their children free of even minor defects.”

If we reject human embryonic life because of disability or disease, how can we respect and welcome in society those who are born with the same conditions?

Source: Mercatornet, April 19, 2012. Change of heart.

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