Frozen Embyros: Property? People? Pick the best? Pension?

Posted: February 29, 2008 by Rick Hogaboam in Abortion, Ethics, Politics, Social Issues
Tags: , , , , , , ,

 

Nancy Gibbs offers some concise thoughts and concerns with the emerging dilemma surrounding frozen embryos in the March 3rd issue of Time Magazine (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1715279,00.html).

In the article, she references a recent book, “Embryo: A Defense of Human Life”, authored by Robert George and Christopher Tollefsen (http://www.amazon.com/Embryo-Defense-Robert-P-George/dp/0385522827). The authors contend that the embryo is indeed a human life. They suggest that one not create more embryos than is intended for implanting…no freezing…no choosing…no storing for future use…and no experimenting.

It has been noted that some embryos have been treated as property, simply part of ones estate, carried around and stored indefinitely.

There are others who view embryos as humans and have chosen to adopt, love, and raise the child.

Some prospective parents wish instead to implant several embryos, and like shopping for a new car, wish to examine the particular traits of each, choosing the one to their best liking and rejecting the others.

The parents could instead sell the rejected embryos to prospective adoptive parents and actually make money off the deal. U.K. researchers are already offering a sale to those who are willing to donate half their eggs for research.

I appreciate the advice of Robert George and Christopher Tollefsen and wish that all would heed their counsel.

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Comments
  1. me says:

    Concise? Yes. Misguided? Also yes. The logic in that column was dreadful, and the underlying assumption that infertile people let their desperation overshadow their moral compasses offensive.

  2. rickhogaboam says:

    I don’t think that the underlying assumption of the article was that desperate folks throw away their morality in their desire to raise children. It is rather a prophetic warning of moral implication surrounding the issue of frozen embryos. I am concerned by where this might lead and very concerned about an evolving elite human class, all the result of embryonic selection of the best and trashing of the undesired.

  3. Faith says:

    “…underlying assumption that infertile people let their desperation overshadow their moral compasses offensive.”

    Well said!

    Embryos are TRANSFERRED not “implanted”. Implantation is the process that needs to occur within the body in order for a pregnancy to be established.

    And this notion that embryo selection is like shopping for a new car is ridiculous and insulting. Suggesting that it is about a…”wish to examine the particular traits of each, choosing the one to their best liking and rejecting the others.”

    Picking embryo’s that are healthy and more likely to thrive/survive, is a far cry from choosing the one to their “best liking” as if it were about a shiny paint color or leather seats. That is completely misleading. Wanting an embryo to survive and become a viable, healthy pregnancy is the goal of the “selection process”.

    Most embryos by design of the reproductive system fail to survive in “natural” conception attempts…(stats vary, but it is thought that 50-75% fail naturally). So of course it makes sense to ‘select’ the most likely to survive embryos to transfer back to a woman’s uterus when one is attempting to conceive. It is ridiculous to make the selection of viable embryos something ‘evil’ when in reality this is what happens in women’s bodies naturally. The body naturally does it’s best to select the “best” and “trash” the rest when it comes to embryos. If that were not the case, there would be no need for hundreds of thousands of eggs and millions of sperm to create a viable pregnancy.

    Slippery slopes exists in most areas of life…that doesn’t suggest that we should throw anything related into the evil category due to potential.

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