The Relevance of An Embryo's Status as Concerns IVF and Genetic Testing
Modern reproductive strategies such as in-vitro fertilization and prenatal genetic testing are
intimately connected with how policies are generated, from state to state, due to the perception of
the embryo's 'moral status'. Interestingly, although most policies take into account how embryos
are perceived and treated, and how parents of the embryos fit into the process, as some feminist
bioethicists have opined, less emphasis seems to be placed on the overall status of women, which
such strategies annually chisel in our society.
Some right-winged scientists, theologians, and politicians might ...view middle of the document...
latter manmade manipulation, involving IVF, would violate the moral rights of the embryo to a
unique existence. In the collective vision of such opponents, only 'natural' twinnings, decided by
'God' can be deemed acceptable, worthy, and morally just. Never mind the fact that 'God'
allowed medicine to achieve the knowledge and accomplishments it already has in now
preventing what was once merely treatable disease forms.
Stemming from the opposite pole of the ethical spectrum are the leftists, who assume the stance
that embryos are entities like any other human tissue. Therefore, manipulations on such 'tissues'
should remain equivocal to those of other parts of the human body, as long as consent over
ownership issues are adequately appeased. Such a viewpoint disregards the fact that within such
a 'tissue' lays the genetic potential of a new, unique human life form. Such leftist thinkers would
also agree to further manipulations of prenatal genetic testing, even for the purposes of research,
alone. Within the contexts of such a 'same as any other human tissue' view, it would be
considered acceptable to embrace methods of genetic engineering. By doing the latter, one could
bring the growing tissue to a more 'superior' level of physical existence. Also, it would be okay
to readily eradicate/terminate the pregnancy, due to perceived genetic deficits, that would render
the growing tissue 'inferior' and compromised at a later date.
I tend to agree with the overwhelmingly popular position that an embryo, while not an actual
'person', should nonetheless be accorded a special moral status, which respects its rights to
potentially become a person. Ethical and legal committees derived from both capitalistic and
socialistic countries (e.g. USA, Canada, Great Britain) have agreed upon the latter stance.
However, while such a vantage may have its advantages, disagreements between the realms of
reproductive strategies and state practices still ensue. For instance, in order to increase the
success rates of the incredibly expensive IVF methods for infertile couples, multiple eggs must
be generated during each cycle. After fertilization, multiple embryos that have achieved
blastocyst statuses are inserted into either the fallopian tubes or onto the uterine linings of their
mothers/hosts. The reasoning behind this is that it will increase the chances of a successful
implantation of a singular embryo. The problem with this technique is that if too many embryos
are successfully implanted, the health of the mother (not biologically constructed to bear a litter)
will be compromised. IVF clinics in Canada apparently have chosen to ignore the status of the
mother in lieu of that of the embryo. In other words, every in-vitro fertilized embryo that has
successfully achieved the blastocyst stage is implanted into its mother/host. Within this country,
the three states of Minnesota, Louisiana, and Illinois have banned the intentional...