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Vatican conference opposes IVF

Dr. Kirsty Horsey

Progress Educational Trust

08 March 2006

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[BioNews, London]

Pope Benedict XVI has told an international Catholic conference on the scientific and bioethical considerations of 'The Human Embryo Before Implantation', that IVF embryos have a right to life, even before implantation. Speaking to the Pontifical Academy for Life, he declared that all human life was 'sacred and inviolable' and that 'moral judgment is valid from the start of the life of an embryo, even before it is implanted in the maternal womb'. The Vatican hosted the conference to review whether current scientific data supports the Vatican's hard-line position on IVF. The Vatican opposes IVF and related procedures because embryos created in a laboratory are often discarded, whereas others are frozen and still others are created for medical research purposes, for example to create stem cells.

Pope Benedict also restated the Catholic Church's opposition to IVF, and added that it should only welcome reproductive assistance if it 'facilitates' sexual activity between a couple. Speaking at the same conference, a senior Vatican official also said that there is no moral justification for discriminating between embryos used in IVF procedures. Monsignor Elio Sgreccia, who heads the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Life, said the theory that laboratory-created embryos were not worthy of the same legal protection and the right to life as an already implanted embryo was morally wrong.

© Copyright Progress Educational Trust

Reproduced with permission from BioNews, an email and online sources of news, information and comment on assisted reproduction and genetics.

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Date Added: 08 March 2006   Date Updated: 08 March 2006
Customer Reviews (1)
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Eileen McEwan   30 April 2006

It's hard to distinguish between what is right or wrong in the church field of view. Personally, I believe that IVF can be right and wrong depending on the situation. The hospitals are not trying to discriminate against those who donate eggs, they are just trying to provide users of the hospital with the best eggs possible

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