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4.34 What is wrong with in vitro fertilisation (IVF)?

Artificial insemination, embryos, and cloning

In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) involves the fertilisation of egg cells with sperm cells in a laboratory. Multiple egg cells are fertilised, and only one or a few cells are inserted into the uterus. The remaining embryos are destroyed, used for research, or frozen for later use.

Playing with human life like this cannot be right! Parents are never ‘entitled’ to a child merely for the sake of their own happiness, no matter what the cost. A child is always a gift, freely received from God.

> Read more in the book

With IVF multiple human embryos are conceived, of which only one or two are used. The others are killed or frozen for later use.

The Wisdom of the Church

Why are artificial insemination and artificial fertilization immoral?

They are immoral because they dissociate procreation from the act with which the spouses give themselves to each other and so introduce the domination of technology over the origin and destiny of the human person. Furthermore, heterologous insemination and fertilization with the use of techniques that involve a person other than the married couple infringe upon the right of a child to be born of a father and mother known to him, bound to each other by marriage and having the exclusive right to become parents only through each another. [CCCC 499]

What is theft, and what falls under the Seventh Commandment?

Theft is the unlawful appropriation of goods belonging to another.

Appropriating someone else’s goods unjustly is a sin against the Seventh Commandment even if the act cannot be indicted under civil law. What is unjust in God’s sight is unjust. The Seventh Commandment, of course, applies not only to stealing, but also to the unfair withholding of a just wage, the keeping of found items that one could give back, and defrauding in general. The Seventh Commandment also pertains to the following: setting employees to work in inhumane conditions, not abiding by contracts into which one has entered, wasting profits without any consideration for social obligations, artificially driving prices up or down, endangering the jobs of colleagues for whom one is responsible, bribery and corruption, misleading dependent coworkers into illegal actions, doing shoddy work or demanding inappropriate remuneration, wasting or negligently managing public property, counterfeiting or falsifying accounting records, or tax evasion. [Youcat 428]

This is what the Popes say

The fundamental principle will always be the dignity of the human person, respect for his inalienable fundamental rights, which are invoked by the majority of our contemporaries but which in reality are trampled upon in certain regions of the earth. Among these rights is naturally found respect for human life in all phases of its development, from conception to old age, and also respect for the human embryo, which cannot be subjected to experiments as though it were an object. [Pope John Paul II, Address to Civil Authorities in Belgium, 20 May 1985]​