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Paper Information

Journal:   INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF FERTILITY AND STERILITY   SUMMER 2011 , Volume 5 , Number SUPPLEMENT 1; Page(s) 38 To 38.
 
Paper: 

EPIDEMIOLOGY AND ETHICS: SOLVING THE PROBLEM OF INFERTILITY AMONG CHRISTIANS: A BIOETHICAL APPRAISAL

 
 
Author(s):  EKEKE E.C.*, UCHEGBUE C.O.
 
* DEPARTMENT OF RELIGIOUS AND CULTURAL STUDIES, FACULTY OF ARTS, UNIVERSITY OF CALABAR, CALABAR, NIGERIA
 
Abstract: 

Background: This paper examines the ethical issues surrounding biological and technological advancement in the area of reproduction so as to ascertain their justifiability or otherwise especially from the Christian point of view. Based on the teaching of the Bible on the sanctity and sacredness of human life, this paper considers the ethical issues surrounding Artificial Womb, Artificial Insemination, Surrogacy and in vitro Fertilization to see their need and benefit among Christians. This paper seeks to show that God’s original intent in procreation is that it should be a result of a union between a man and a woman and not a laboratory affair thereby causing child bearing to be a social creation which could be realized with financial power.
Materials and Methods: Due to the nature of this work, analytic method was used in addition to descriptive method of research. Furthermore, this work is mainly a literary research based on published and Internet materials. However, the authors have also sought opinions of people in the form of oral interview.
Results: Infertility has become a terrible cankerworm destroying the joy of many couples the world over. Among Christians, this issue has grown to a monumental level so that many Christian couples question God’s power and ability. Today many Christian couples could do anything either good or bad to have children. This paper therefore examines some of the various biomedical approaches through which the problem of infertility could be solved among Christians such as artificial womb, artificial insemination, surrogacy, in vitro fertilization and sperm and egg donation. The paper argues that though these methods of solving the problem of infertility may look very attractive to biomedicine and reproductive researchers, it is not generally accepted by all Bible believing Christians.
Conclusion: In concluding this paper, we should know that the issue of infertility is not a do or die affair and so should not be pursued without restraint. Shields (2004) argue that “it is not; therefore, a moral priority to use the skills of physicians to treat it. Life threatening diseases are a much greater priority” (p.234). The Scripture is filled with the fact that it is God’s prerogative to give children and, in some cases, to prevent their conception and birth (c.f. Gen 16:2; 20:18; 29:31; 30:2,22; Psalm 127:3; Isaiah 44:24;49:5). The fact, as we noted earlier, that IVF produces a higher rate of infant death and of handicap in children conceived in that way, suggests that those who resort to such treatment are in some way contravening the will of God. Donating sperm, eggs or embryos removes procreation from the bedroom to the clinic thereby separating the beginning of human life from the ‘one flesh’ union that the Bible “puts at the very heart of marriage and of the creation of a new life” (Shields 2004: 235). This whole issue means that Christians should learn to look up onto God and get direction as per what to do in matters of infertility and not plunge themselves into acts that they will regret about in the future.

 
Keyword(s): INFERTILITY, ARTIFICIAL, WOMB, CHRISTIANS, SURROGACY
 
References: 
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