Awhile back I posted about the fate of 3 children who came into existence through artificial means. IVF and other infertility treatments which take conception out of the realm of nature and move it into the laboratory are resulting in multiple moral and ethical nightmares. Take this story, from the Chicago Tribune.
In-vitro fertilization made it possible for Adriana and Robert Potter to welcome twins Anabella and Matteus into the world. For the same reasons many couples can’t conceive, IVF was their only option if they wanted children of their own.
But with that choice came another: what to do with two other embryos created in the same petri dish but never placed in the womb. On that dilemma, the Potters have agreed to disagree for now.
If the Elmhurst couple decides they don’t want more children, Adriana Potter believes donating the embryos to advance reproductive technology or treat debilitating diseases would be the most life-affirming choice.
“Think about it. The only way we got this far with IVF is because there was research in the past,” she said. “There were sacrifices to help families like us have kids. … When it comes to promoting the creation of new life, you have modern medicine and the choice to use it for good, to fulfill dreams.”
“There were sacrifices to help families like us have kids…” — This is from the mom, to whom I would answer: Human sacrifice hardly seems to be a foundation upon which to build your family. Unless you are a Mayan chieftain in the year 1500.
Robert Potter imagines having more children to fulfill God’s mandate to be fruitful and multiply. But if they decide to have no more, he favors donating the embryos for another couple to do the same. Viable embryos should not be taken for granted, he said.
“It’s not just a moral (issue). It’s a waste,” he said. “Why would you waste an opportunity if it’s a good one?”
As thousands of frozen embryos continue to accumulate and pressure mounts to decide their fates, doctors say more families must weigh the promise and perils of adoption and research.
I’m not sure that the dad fully understands the issue if he thinks this isn’t about morality but overall, his statement is right: human life should not be wasted.
The freedom to make that decision without condemnation is one of the many factors Adriana finds appealing about the Methodist church, where the couple will baptize their children right before Christmas. Raised Roman Catholic in Brazil, Adriana began to drift after a heart-wrenching divorce.
She cannot imagine her offspring raised by another family without any control over their upbringing. By devoting them to research, she as their mother would have the final say about their greater purpose in life.
But Robert doesn’t trust that every embryo fulfills a greater purpose. He can’t imagine sentencing two potential children to short lives that would end in a laboratory.
The Rev. Norma Lee Barnhart, pastor of Elmhurst First Methodist Church, encourages the couple to have conversations with God and with each other.
The Methodist church endorses stem cell research, though it doesn’t dictate that’s what a couple should choose. Citing First Corinthians 13:12a letter the apostle Paul wrote 2,000 years ago describing the process of maturing in one’s faith, she prescribes time and patience.
“In our faith those decisions are made by the person with God’s help and with the help of the church community,” she said.
Okay, so the mother of the Solomon’s wisdom story, this woman ain’t. If you remember the story to which I am referring, King Solomon settles a dispute between two mothers by ordering that the baby be cut in half and given to the two arguing women. In fear, one mother cries out that instead of killing the child, Solomon should give it to the other mother. The second mother says, yeah, go ahead and kill it, thus proving who the real mother is. A real mother would wish for her child to live, even if that meant with someone else raising it, rather than see him or her die. A fake, selfish, jealous and vengeful mother only cares about her own interests. Adriana Potter: grab your Bible (or borrow your husband’s) and read 1 Kings 13 and then…go take a good hard look in the mirror.
My take on this is that the Mrs. Potter has a very tenuous relationship not only with the Church but with Christ’s authority. She left the Church over her divorce (presumably because she couldn’t submit to the Church teaching) and joined a Methodist church not so much because of her husband’s beliefs but because the Methodists have abandoned Scripture for modernism and simply do not care about Biblical teachings on divorce. She wants the children she wants and those she choses not to raise, she wants them destroyed rather than blessing some other family.
Do I sound harsh? I am sorry, I probably am being too harsh, but something in this article really sticks in my craw. Something like this:
Fertility Centers of Illinois now stores about 20,000 embryos from about 4,550 patients.
Perhaps it is the fact that there are THOUSANDS of little babies in each of HUNDREDS of these puppy mills fertility clinics just staying on ice until they are destroyed purposely or killed in laboratory experiments. Each of these little babies–a million souls?–cost so much in money, time, effort and hope. Every single one of these babies was created–their parents would say–because of the love their parents felt for them. Love. When the parents meet up with them at the gates of Heaven, they can try explaining how much love they felt for them that they gave them over to science to be experimented on alive and dead.
Our mother Church is so wise. We need to heed to the wisdom of the Holy Spirit who is guiding the Church. We are leading ourselves astray. We are bringing horrors upon ourselves. In our need, we are creating…destruction. How’s that for irony?
Embryos’ fate: A fertile debate — chicagotribune.com
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h/t = Sarah Pulliam Bailey at Get Religion
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