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Posted on : 21-02-2012 | By : admin | In : Reviews


How was everyone’s weekend? Here is something to start off the week with, a commentary on the ABS-CBN primetime show Budoy re: IVF (In vitro fertilization) by TAG member Gerly de Castro. What are your comments on the show and on IVF? Post your comments below or on our Facebook page.

BUDOY is a prime time television series of ABS CBN which premiered last Monday, October 10, 2011, featuring Gerald Anderson in a very challenging role. Gerald plays the role of Budoy who came into the world through in vitro fertilization (IVF). As it turned out, he became a child with special needs.
I would like to comment on the IVF which is sometimes resorted to by couples who have difficulty bearing a child and can afford it. As I am not well-versed in it, but I know IVF is morally unacceptable, I researched and googled on the subject and here is what I learned.
In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a process by which egg cells are fertilised by sperm outside the body:in vitro. IVF is a major treatment in infertility when other methods of assisted reproductive technology have failed.
Additional techniques that are routinely used in IVF include ovarian hyperstimulation to retrieve multiple eggs, ultrasound-guided technique directly from the ovaries, egg and sperm preparation, as well as culture and selection of resultant embryos, before embryo transfer back into the uterus. Here we see that several embryos are needed to have a successful pregnancy.
An embryo is formed once the sperm fertilizes an egg cell and it is called an embryo until about eight weeks from fertilization. On weeks 6-8, the embryo has progressed to where it is capable of motion, and the eyes begin to form. Hair has started to form along with all essential organs. Facial features are beginning to develop. At the end of the 8th week, the embryonic stage is over, and the fetal stage begins.
Now what happens to the leftover embryos?
Most clinics and country regulatory bodies seek to minimise the risk of pregnancies carrying multiples (another risk is birth defects, as what happened in Budoy). As it is not uncommon for more implantations to take than desired, the next step faced by the expectant mother is that ofselective abortion. The embryos judged to be the “best” are the only ones transferred to the patient’s uterus.
Embryo donation – with the couple’s permission, the leftover embryos are given to other couples or women for transfer with the goal of producing a successful pregnancy. The resulting child is considered the child of the woman who carries it and gives birth, and not the child of the donor.
Why is IVF morally unacceptable?
The Catholic Church opposes all kinds of in vitro fertilisation because, as with contraception, it separates the procreative purpose of the marriage act from its unitive purpose.
This particular doctrine is based on the inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act.
The reason is that the fundamental nature of the marriage act, while uniting husband and wife in the closest intimacy, also renders them capable of generating new life—and this as a result of laws written into the actual nature of man and of woman. And if each of these essential qualities, the unitive and the procreative, is preserved, the use of marriage fully retains its sense of true mutual love and its ordination to the supreme responsibility of parenthood to which man is called.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic ChurchTechniques involving only the married couple (homologous artificial insemination and fertilization) are perhaps less reprehensible, yet remain morally unacceptable. They dissociate the sexual act from the procreative act. 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 of domination is in itself contrary to the dignity and equality that must be common to parents and children.” (CCC 2377)
The Catholic Church maintains that it is not objectively evil to be infertile, and advocates adoption as an option for such couples who still wish to have children:
The Gospel shows that physical sterility is not an absolute evil. Spouses who still suffer from infertility after exhausting legitimate medical procedures should unite themselves with the Lord’s Cross, the source of all spiritual fecundity. They can give expression to their generosity by adopting abandoned children or performing demanding services for others. (CCC 2379)
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