In Vitro Fertilization
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is the artificial creation of human being in a laboratory by the mixing of eggs from the mother and sperm from a father, following by implantation in a womb, gestation and birth.
While IVF may be useful in research on and breeding of animals, it is always gravely immoral when done to human beings. The reasons for this are several fold.
First, IVF does not produce merely one developing egg. Typically, numerous eggs are fertilized at once. The “best” developing child is then implanted and the rest are then either frozen or thrown away. In other words, human being are aborted in the process of IVF (see Abortion).
Second, there is also real scientific evidence that IVF is physically harmful to the IVF child, with some studies showing they are twice as prone to illness, as well as an increased risk of diabetes, cancer and hypertension later in life.
More than this, however, is the simple fact that IVF is damaging to the child created by such means both physically and spiritually. IVF is morally evil because it reduces human beings to being the product of a manufacturing process instead of children born of the love of two parents. IVF separates parents from each other and the child from their parents and reduces them to things rather than persons. Every human person has intrinsic dignity and worth. This means that a human being has the intrinsic right to be treated like a person and not as a thing—a product of manufacturing.
It is always wrong to treat persons as things or as means to some other end. Therefore, it is wrong to manufacture human persons in order to try to make the life of another human person better. IVF is the attempt to make human beings “to order” not for their own good but for the happiness of somebody else. This may seem good since it promises children to childless couples. But it is still using the child as the means to an end and therefore insulting his dignity since it reduces the child to a possession and a kind of acquisition. It also results in the deaths of all the other IVF children who were found “unacceptable”. Both outcomes do violence to the human person because they fundamentally alter children from persons to things to be owned or destroyed according to the whim of the manufacturer.
The dignity and worth of a human being comes from our uniquely human capacity to participate in things of ultimate significance – like love, truth, justice, beauty, and home. People of faith would translate this by saying that the worth of human beings is grounded in the unconditional love that God has for each of us.
Advocates of IVF try to justify it for a variety of reasons. While many of these reasons sound reasonable and compassionate, IVF always damages children and even kills the majority of those created by it. It also damages the men and women who reduce them to things, even those who do so for “good intentions”. There are always better alternatives to IVF. Parents who desire children can adopt. And every act of IVF violates the most fundamental and universal principles of reason, ethics, and justice which are necessary for civilizations to survive, and which have been around for hundreds and even thousands of years.