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Literature Review Of In Vitro Fertilization

2030 words - 8 pages

Can anybody or anything claim to be a god—the supreme entity that governs all moral authority? Since Gregor Mendel first tinkered with plants for genes to the time of great evolutionists like that of Lamarck and Darwin who proposed their individual theories of evolution; there has been much more technological advancement, debate, controversy, and understanding on the “origin” of humans through scientific fields like that of genetics, genetic engineering, etc. There has always been an assumption and belief of a higher power governing the physical world that scientists and metaphysicists cannot answer; however, there has been great insight into how did we come to be? Any practicing religion will tell you, God or gods are the answer to every question. Both sides are quick to defend either their science or their religion from the fundamentalist to the naturalist. In more recent news, in vitro fertilization (the fertilization of an egg cell outside the body) has begun to see an increase in viability as questions about its ethics and morality have become more accepting due to the costs of a procedure being cut down (not covered by the Affordable Care Act), developments in medical and scientific technology through IVF, and subsidiary factors: the advent of “designer babies” and the increasing tolerance of homosexuality—leading to couples to seek out IVF.
One thing the church and science can agree on: life starts at the moment of conception. The Catholic Church has always been adamantly against any form of unnatural birth control, anything that is not considered “natural family planning” as expressed by Pope Paul VI on 1968 in his papal encyclical Humanae Vitae. “Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective?” (Pope Paul VI sec. 17.) Five years later, the church would get its answer from the public authorities in the monumental case of Roe v. Wade, which ruled in favor of abortion being a woman’s decision and on the whole legality of abortion. The question of ethics on human life arises once again but which side is inherently wrong and which is right? The advancement of science and technology had begun its first step into the religious world once contraception was developed: condoms, diaphragms, the pill, misoprostol, etc. The precursor to IVF was artificial insemination and was to be the hope for infertile and impotent couples but was met with much scrutiny and criticism as being too morally wrong as it was against the will of God. Instead, it brought a firestorm as Gregory Pincus in 1934 began his research on oral contraception and was first able to perform in vitro fertilization on rabbits: a universal symbol of reproduction. Much like Darwin, instead of praise for his research, Pincus’ work was met with notoriety instead of Nobel Prizes and research grants due to being condemned as being “too unnatural” even for scientific standards. What is the procedure of IVF like? It begins...

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