Expert Answer Forum

Fertility Treatments QUESTION from Carole K April 24, 2000 I would first like to say that while I am not Catholic - I have a deep and abiding respect for the views of the Catholic Church in regard to pro-life issues.
What is the stand of the Catholic Church on various fertility treatments? Most specifically, artificial insemination. Is there an official Church opinion on this procedure?
Often any embryos left frozen after the infertile couple has their one or two wanted children are donated, sold or destroyed. Does the Catholic Church compare the destruction of human embryos to abortion?
In your opinion would the infertile couple have any moral responsibility to their frozen embryos?
I heard this question mentioned on a radio talk-show and have been unable to answer the many questions this raises, so I thought I would come to you all here. So often your answers make sense (biblical sense and common sense) even to those of us who are not Catholic.
ANSWER by Mr. John Miskell on April 24, 2000 Dear Carole,
Thank you for your question.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) has this to say about artificial insemination:
Techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife, by the intrusion of a person other than the couple (donation of sperm or ovum...) are gravely immoral. These techniques infringe the child's right to be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other by marriage. They betray the spouses' 'right to become a father and a mother only through each other'...The act which brings the child into existence is no longer an act by which two persons give themselves to one another, but one that 'entrusts the life and identity of the embryo into the power of doctors and biologists and establishes the domination of technology over the origin and destiny of the human person. Such a relationship is contrary to the dignity and equality that must be common to parents and children [articles 2376-2377]
The Catechism goes on to say that the Gospel does not consider physical infertility an absolute evil. The couple should draw closer together in love and perhaps share their love through adoption or through 'performing demanding services for others.
Regarding your other question; the authentic humanity of the embryo must be recognized.
John Miskell
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