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Archive for June 27th, 2010

In Case of Fertilization, Break Glass

Posted by scott on June 27th, 2010


Judie Brown, as you may recall, is president of the American Life League, which I think is the one that used that flashy red, white, and blue ball; an advisor to Pope Benedict; and “one of the top 100 Catholics of the 20th century,” according to The Daily Catholic. She probably would have made the Top 100 Catholics of the 21st century, but The Daily Catholic, as commenter Djur pointed out, is “a sedevacantist rag,” so they hate pretty much everyone who continued to Catholicize after 1962.

Ethics, morality, and in vitro fertilization

Shorter Judy: One of these things is not like the other/One of these things does not belong.

Shortly after my insights on the clinical problems with in vitro fertilization were published…

…in the prestigious and peer-reviewed forum of her own blog, where she offers the following clinical analysis: “While it is a blessing for these couples to have the opportunity to bring children into the world, we wonder if they realize that they are proceeding along a route that is fraught with danger and death.” But some of her readers don’t quite understand how the introduction of a turkey baster turns motherhood into a summer tentpole action film.

Subsequently, we have received a few questions about why American Life League so vehemently opposes in vitro fertilization. Many Americans do not understand Catholic teaching on this question nor do they understand how a couple facing infertility can actually find answers without going down the very costly path of assisted reproductive technology (assisted reproductive technology).

Oh. (Oh.)

In order to clearly understand why assisted reproductive technology is problematic, it is essential to know that the Catholic Church teaches that the child has the right to be “the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal love of his parents; and he also has the right to be respected as a person from the moment of his conception [biological beginning].” Children are not chattel nor are they property.

Okay, but I was conceived naturally, and obviously nobody told my mother about the No-Chattel Rule, so maybe if I hadn’t been Conjugal Love Fruit she wouldn’t have made me go out in the yard every day and pick up dog crap with a trowel.

The desire to give birth to a child is laudable, but when technology gets in the way of God’s plan, it can have devastating consequences on everyone involved. For example, one researcher has documented that the hormones doctors use to stimulate the ovaries can have negative effects on the women to whom they are administered. There may well be additional clinical reports that address the downside of in vitro fertilization as it affects the woman — and subsequently her husband.

There may indeed be additional clincial reports that address more stuff — who knows? There may well be hormones so powerful that simply by being in the same room with you, your husband will begin weeping and watching Lifetime. (In case you don’t want to get out of the boat, the link above leads to a .pdf of a report by the delightfully named Inmaculada de Melo-Martin, who was (in 1998 when her paper was published) an Assistant Professor of Philosophy, St. Mary’s University, the oldest Catholic college in San Antonio, TX. In other words, she’s got unimpeachable hard science credentials which rule out even the whiff of a possibility of bias.)

However, the fundamental question is, what can a couple facing infertility actually do? There are several options available for those who understand the moral and ethical dangers of using in vitro fertilization but still desperately desire to have a child.

By an amazing coincidence, they all involve the advanced scientific breakthroughs of Catholic dogma!

The best option is NaProTechnology. The doctor who mastered this treatment, Thomas Hilgers, M.D., points out, “Most medical approaches today bypass the woman’s problem or simply override her natural processes altogether. With NaPro, we find out why the body isn’t functioning correctly, then apply treatments that work cooperatively with the body.”

Although Dr. Hilgers is competing with IVF providers, he points out that his treatment is much less expensive — because it’s basically just the Rhythm Method in reverse. (Said Dr. Hilgers: “If you have a clogged sink, are you just going to pray about it-or are you going to call a plumber?” He explained that he is not playing God, he’s just being used to bring about God’s plan.) You know, I had surgery once, and I would have felt a lot more comfortable in that operating room if, just before I lost consciousness, the masked man standing over me holding a knife had said, “I am an instrument of the Lord.”

The truth is that practitioners of in vitro fertilization do not work to cure the underlying causes of infertility because they are not motivated to do so.

All they want to do is help you conceive a child and bring him or her to term; they clearly don’t even care about unclogging your sink!

Dr. Hilgers’ studies — and those of others who truly want to help couples overcome their infertility —

– as opposed to doctors working in IVF clinics, who don’t truly want to help, and are only using their patients’ wombs to hide their teeny tiny Easter eggs.

– indicate that “infertility is a symptom of underlying disease.”

Remember girls: if, at any moment, you’re not pregnant, you’re probably sick.

As long as in vitro fertilization and its progeny bring in the big money, there won’t be a huge outpouring of support from the medical community for those who, like Dr. Hilgers, believe in solving problems naturally instead of using technologies that are fraught with danger and disappointment.

But when aspiring parents finally realize that IVF is nothing but a pseudo-scientific boondoggle, they will gladly (and financially) support the research of Dr. Hilgers and his team of menstruation-timing monks, who are on the verge of proving that by inserting a poultice filled with a thermometer, a tiny hourglass, several ground-up rabbit testicles, and the ashes of St. Margaret of Antioch into a woman, they can make her great with child.

If you know someone who is experiencing infertility problems, the very best thing you can do for them is recommend that they contact the Pope Paul VI Institute.

Press “1″ if you are suffering from the disease of nonpregnancy. Press “2″ if you are possessed by Satan. Press “3″ if you are pregnant, but your fetus is possessed by a lesser demon. Press “4″ for Billing.



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