Please read our submission we made to the Oireachtas (Irish parliament) on the question of Assisted Human Reproduction (IVF).
Dear Sir / Madam,
Submission to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health, on the General Scheme of the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill 2017.
Patrick Mc Crystal
Human Life International Ireland
We, at Human Life International (Ireland) register our strongest possible objections to the proposals to fund and further promote IVF legislation in Ireland.
There should be no I.V.F. whatever.
The Catholic Church teaches that IVF is “gravely immoral” and an affront to human dignity. All human beings are sacred and inviolable, made in the image and likeness of God, with an eternal soul and that they deserve the “right to be respected as a person from the moment of conception.” (Catechism of Catholic Church n2378)
The Church teaches children “have a right to be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other by marriage.” (Catechism of Catholic Church n 2376)
IVF is terribly destructive of human life, anywhere from 73%(1) up to 96%(2) of embryos are destroyed in the process. Each one of us was once a human embryo.
Serious issues arise for anyone promoting, advocating, legislating or participating in any procedure entailing an attack on human life.
Pope John Paul II reminds us:
1) “Whoever attacks human life in some way attacks God himself.” (Evangelium Vitae n9)
2) Quoting God’s words from Genesis: “From man, with respect to his fellow man, I will demand an accounting” (Evangelium Vitae n38)
3) “Every individual… has moral responsibility for the acts he personally performs; no-one is exempted from this responsibility and on the basis of it everyone will be judged by God himself.” (Evangelium Vitae n74)
Scientifically, at the moment of fertilization our genetic makeup and sex are determined. A unique individual is created.
The legislation as set out in the General Scheme would permit experimentation on human embryos up to 14 days after fertilization.
To use human embryos as the object or instrument of experimentation constitutes a crime against their dignity as human beings, denying them the right to the same respect that is due to the child already born and to every human person.
By acting in this way the parents and researchers usurp the place of God; and, even though they may be unaware of this they set themselves up as the masters of the destiny of others inasmuch as they arbitrarily decide whom they will allow to live and whom they will allow to die.
It must be noted that IVF does not treat infertility, but by-passes it. It is extremely expensive.
IVF typically consists of three treatment cycles of about €5,000 each.
In England, IVF is proving so costly that some NHS regions have now stopped funding it.(3)
Spouses who cannot have children because of impaired fertility experience "a suffering that everyone must understand and properly evaluate" (Donum Vitae 8, 1987).
They must be treated with the fullest respect and compassion in their difficult situation, yet are called, like everyone, to respect the moral law.
There is a completely ethical method of treating infertility.
NaPro (Natural Procreation Technology) is respectful of life, is very successful in achieving full-term pregnancy and is cheaper than IVF which is an expensive treatment. The success rate for NaPro technology is between 40% and 60% after one year.(4)
Biomedical science has the potential to alleviate great human suffering. However, when it is applied without careful consideration of the consequences it harms far more than it heals.
Science and technology require an unconditional respect for the fundamental criteria of moral law.(5)
Ministers and elective representatives simply do not have the authority to legislate for the creation of human beings in a petri dish. Human beings are sacred, made in the image and likeness of God and endowed with and eternal soul. There are serious implications for everyone involved.
Human Life International Ireland
2) Approximately 96% of all human embryos conceived in vitro are wasted in the process of IVF
[Nicholas Tonti-Filipini, 'Reproductive Technology Outcomes in Australia: Analysing the Data',
Bioethics Research Notes March 2003, 15:1,2)]
5) Fuller synthesis of his subject see Donum Vitae "Instruction on Respect for Human Life in Its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation" which was issued on February 22, 1987, by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It addresses biomedical issues from the Roman Catholic Church's perspective. See also Catechism of Catholic Church