From Mary Kennedy re online article "What is the Catholic position on in vitro fertilization?" (C.I., Oct. 2002), retrieved from http://catholicinsight.com/online/church/vatican/ article_476.shtml.As a Catholic of over fifty years, one who was privileged to receive eighteen plus years of Catholic education, and the adoptive mother of three, I was absolutely shocked, when I followed a link to your page on in vitro fertilization in vitro fertilization (vē`trō, vĭ`trō), technique for conception of a human embryo outside the mother's body. Several ova, or eggs, are removed from the mother's body and placed in special laboratory culture dishes (Petri dishes); . There I read:
"The instances of infertility can be increased by previous venereal disease, late childbearing, the previous use of intrauterine intrauterine /in·tra·uter·ine/ (-u´ter-in) within the uterus.
Within the uterus.
Situated or occuring in the uterus. devises, irreversible tubal Tubal (t`bəl), in the Bible, son of Japheth. ligation ligation /li·ga·tion/ (li-ga´shun) the application of a ligature.
tubal ligation sterilization of the female by constricting, severing, or crushing the uterine tubes. , and previous abortion, for all of which a woman might be responsible."
Frankly, that's one of the most offensive things I've ever read! The author of this little gem has just told the Catholic women that it's probably their fault they're infertile! And there is no suggestion whatsoever that infertility might have to do with the male of the species, even though about an equal number of cases involve infertility on the part of the would-be father, and in some cases, individuals with a history of fertility with prior partners are infertile together (and I draw no reference about their prior marital history, and neither should you). If you wonder why people think that Catholics are misogynists, look no further.
While I understand the Church's opposition to in vitro fertilization, and it was certainly nothing I ever wanted to choose for myself, this is just degrading. And specifically, it's degrading to infertile women--the very group who might come to this page for guidance. If you expect that that little gem will draw those who seek guidance to understand the Church's viewpoint, perhaps a little Dale Carnegie training is called for.
Fortunately, I was blessed with far more compassionate and thoughtful priests, who assured me that the fact of my infertility was no more a sign of God's judgment than the birth of a disabled child, the untimely death of a loved one or any other life crisis would be. I'd respectfully suggest that the author of this little piece go back to seminary and learn the same.
Editor's reply: Thank you for your correspondence. You make several points which should be answered in turn.
First, Dr. John Shea, who was not the author of the 2002 response, writes as Follows:
1) "What is the Catholic position on In Vitro Fertilization (IVF IVF in vitro fertilization.
in vitro fertilization
IVF 1 In vitro fertilization, see there 2. Intravascular fluid )?" (C.I., Oct. 2002) was written with one purpose in mind, to explain Church teaching. It was not written to impute impute v. 1) to attach to a person responsibility (and therefore financial liability) for acts or injuries to another, because of a particular relationship, such as mother to child, guardian to ward, employer to employee, or business associates. culpability culpability (See: culpable) for infertility.
Infertility is caused by female factors, including ovulation ovulation /ovu·la·tion/ (ov?u-la´shun) the discharge of a secondary oocyte from a graafian follicle.ov´ulatory
The discharge of an ovum from the ovary. disorders, in 32%; and by male factors in 18.8%; and by a combination of both male and female factors in 18.5%. The cause is unknown in 11.1%, and rare, identifiable causes in 5 to 6%.
Female factors include ovulation disorders, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), infection of the female reproductive organs, usually resulting from infection with the bacteria that cause chlamydia or gonorrhea. , the toxic effects of tobacco, or marijuana, heroin, cocaine, alcohol, and also excessive exercise, inadequate diet, and extreme weight loss or gain. Male factors include inadequate volume of ejaculate ejaculate /ejac·u·late/ (e-jak´u-lat) to expel suddenly, especially semen.
ejaculate /ejac·u·late/ (e-jak´u-lat , sperm concentration, sperm motility, testosterone, and the toxic effect of tobacco, marijuana, heroin, cocaine, and alcohol.
It should be noted that pelvic inflammatory disease can block the Fallopian tubes and that this can cause infertility ha up to 50 percent of patients with pelvic inflammatory disease. A person may be responsible For some of these Factors or not For any of them. It is unfortunate that so many infertile couples seek IVF rather than the Hilgers treatment or adoption.
2) Second, the view that infertility is not a sign of God's judgment is indeed the view of the Catholic Church.
3) The five-year old article which you visited was not our only "page" on IVF. It was just one among our scores of articles on the subjects of bioethics bioethics, in philosophy, a branch of ethics concerned with issues surrounding health care and the biological sciences. These issues include the morality of abortion, euthanasia, in vitro fertilization, and organ transplants (see transplantation, medical). and Humanae vitae. We empathize em·pa·thize
To feel empathy in relation to another person. with your experience of infertility, and we are delighted that you have been able to welcome your children through adoption.
4) We concur with such specialists that prevention, not just intervention, is necessary. That is why we publicize medical facts which are not accessible in the mainstream media. Our statement that the incidence of infertility can be increased by a woman's own behaviour in no way implies that you are responsible for your infertility. We are sorry that you misunderstood the meaning of the 2002 response.
5) The article you retrieved was not meant to be exhaustive. We have retroactively corrected it (article online), so as not to leave the impression it was.