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Moral Life Issues 2


J Laney

on 21 December 2013

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Transcript of Moral Life Issues 2

Moral Issue 2: Bioethics
Bioethics is the application of ethical principles to the life sciences.
Any medical treatment that substitutes or suppresses the role that marital intercourse plays in procreation is evil. Such treatments lack respect for both natural generation and human life.
Stem Cells
Some cells in the human body can develop into different cell types. These cells are called stem cells, and they differ from other cells in two ways.
Infertility, also known as impaired fecundity, is the inability to con-ceive a child. There are two
types of infertility.
Catholics derive their ethical principles from two sources: namely, the natural law and Divine revelation.
Our two, fundamental principles are respect for human life and respect for the transmission of human life.
The human person deserves respect from conception to natural death. It follows that the human person’s right; especially his inviolable right to life, must be recognized from the moment
he comes into being.
Stem Cells
Stem cells may be obtained from human embryos and various tissues from adults. The former are known as embryonic stem cells; the latter are known as adult stem cells.
stem cells
in vitro
The respect owed to the human person can be demonstrated from the natural law, and is supplemented by Divine revelation.
Human life is transmitted by the personal and conscious sexual union of one man and one woman who have consented to a partnership
for the whole of life.
Modern, technological advances in the life sciences have made the treatment of many medical conditions possible. We will consider advances in the areas of fertility treatments, and therapeutic procedures.
Any medical treatment that assists marital intercourse in reaching its natural, procreative potential is good. It is permissible to correct deficiencies so that bodily systems function
Morally Evil
Morally Evil
Notwithstanding its disrespect for natural generation and human life, in vitro is evil for at least three additional reasons.
Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is a procedure in which a sin-gle sperm is directly injected into an egg. It is often used in cases
of male sterility.
Cloning refers to the asexual reproduction of a human person in order to create one or more copies which are identical to the original.
Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is a cloning procedure in which the nucleus of a somatic cell, a body cell containing 46 chromosomes, is transferred into an egg cell that has had
its nucleus removed.
SCNT Continued
The transfer of a complete set of chromosomes to the egg creates a zygote. The zygote is then stimulated and begins the process of cell division.
Morally Good
To the extent that the use of stem cells respects natural generation and human life, it is morally good. Thus, the use of stems cells obtained from embryos that have died from natural causes, and the use of adult stem cells is permissible.
Hybridization mixes human and animal genetic material, thus disrupt-ing the specific identity of man. It is offensive to human dignity. More-over, the use of stem cells taken from hybrid embryos poses unforeseeable risks.
To avoid the ethical problems associated with human cloning, some scientists have proposed the creation of hybrid clones. A hybrid clone results from combining an animal egg with the nucleus of
a human somatic cell.
Infertility may be caused by a wide range of physical and emotional factors. It may be due to problems in the woman, man, or both. As many as 6% of all married women, ages 15-44 experience infertility.

Good Means
While our bioethics are prohibitive of many advances in the life sciences, behind each “no” there is a great “yes” to the dignity and good of every human person.
Having applied our ethical principles to the life sciences, we are now in a position to suggest a threefold course of action with regard to present and future technological advances.
In Vitro
In vitro fertilization is a procedure in which sex cells from a man and woman are combined in a petri dish to produce a zygote.
Morally Evil
SCNT is morally evil for the same reasons that ICSI and in vitro are morally evil. Moreover, it imposes a predetermined genetic identity onto a person, which is tantamount to biological slavery.
In addition to advances in fertility treatments, there have been advances in therapeutic procedures, or medical inter-ventions used to restore
proper function to
a person.
Governments must pass laws criminalizing fertility treatments and therapeutic procedures that destroy human life or disrupt natural generation.
Catholics and all people of good will must personally practice and advocate respect for human life and natural generation.
Evil Means
Ends & Means
The desire to conceive is natural and good. However, parents cannot achieve the good end of conceiving a child by means that are evil.
Fertility drugs which stimulate ovulation are permissible with the caution that multiple preg-nancies may put the mother and infants at risk.
Tracking natural reproductive rhythms to enhance the chances for achieving pregnancy are also per-missible. The Pope Paul VI Institute has been successful in helping couples overcome infertility
using natural methods.
In the event that fertility treatments prove unsuccessful, couples should be encouraged to consider adoption.
There are two, primary reasons why in vitro is morally evil: first, it divorces procreation from sexual union; second, it is destructive of human life.
After fertilization, the zygote is subjected to preimplantation diagnosis before being transferred to the woman’s uterus.
ICSI is morally evil for the same reasons that in vitro is morally evil: it separates procreation from sexual union and it is destructive of human life.
Morally Evil
Therapeutic cloning has been proposed as a way of treating a variety of medical conditions.
If dualism is correct, then it follows that the newborn does not have a right to life.
Therapeutic cloning could potentially overcome a problem that is common among organ transplant recipients: immune system rejection.
If dualism is correct, then it follows that the newborn does not have a right to life.
Morally Evil
Therapeutic cloning separates procreation from sexual union, and it involves the deliberate destruction of human life for the sake of treat-ing illnesses. It is gravely evil to sacrifice a human life for therapeutic ends.
If dualism is correct, then it follows that the newborn does not have a right to life.
Morally Evil
The use of stem cells from living embryos invariably causes their deaths and is therefore evil. Any therapeutic procedure that destroys lives that are equal in dignity to the lives of those
it is attempting to treat is a
disservice to humanity.
Course of Action
Bioethics is important because it provides moral guidance in response to issues surrounding modern, tech-nological advances in fields like biology and medicine.
Natural Law
The natural law just is the participation of rational creatures in the eternal law of God. Natural law principles are accessible to human reason.
Divine revelation is God’s com-munication of truth to rational creatures through means which are beyond the ordinary course of nature. It is found in Sacred Tradition and Sacred
Together, these complementary sources provide us with principles for determining whether procedures associated with the life sciences are morally good or evil.
for Human Life
Natural Law
The first particular principle of the natural law is that the life of the human person must be preserved and promoted.
We recognize the truth of this principle not only on the basis of what a human person is: i. e., a living, biological organism, but also on the basis of his universal inclination toward self-preservation.
Human life is worthy of respect because it is created by God in His image for the purpose of sharing in a relationship with Him (Gn 1:27).
The principle of the Divine Law concerning respect for human life is you shall not kill (Ex 20:13). It is specified in the prohibition against killing the innocent and the just (Ex 23:7).
for the Transmission
The respect owed to the transmission of human life can be demonstrated from the natural law, and is supple-mented by Divine revelation.
Natural Law
The second particular principle of the natural law is to propagate the species. We can see the truth of this principle when we con-sider the universal inclination toward procreation through sexual reproduction.
The principle of the Divine Law concerning respect for the trans-mission of life is to be fertile and multiply (Gn 1:28). It is decreed in the broader context of a marital union between one man and
one woman (Gn 2:21-25).
of Human Life
It follows that the human person has a right to be conceived as the result of the conjugal love between parents who have joined their lives in holy matrimony.
Our principles represent a great affirmation of human life. They show that every person has a right to life and natural generation. It follows that any life science that destroys life or disrupts the generative process is
morally evil.
The inability of a couple to con-ceive for the first time after trying for at least one year is known as primary infertility.
Primary Infertility
The inability of a couple to con-ceive after at least one, prior preg-nancy is known as secondary infertility.
Secondary Infertility
Remember that good ends do not justify evil means.
Fertility Drugs
The zygote incubates outside the womb for several days before being transferred into the mother’s uterus.
Children are not the fruit of a loving union between father and mother, but rather the product of an impersonal laboratory procedure.
As many as 95% of all zygotes created in vitro die, are discarded, or destroyed. Of the 5% that survive, only about 35% will result in live births.
Since the survival rate of zygotes created in vitro is so low, and the cost of creating them is so high, scientists often create and implant several at a time.
In the event that multiple implanted zygotes survive, the excess are then “selectively reduced,” or killed through induced abortion.
Untransferred, or “spare” zygotes that are not immediately implanted are frozen and stored in liquid nitrogen for
later use.
The freezing process not only kills one-third of the zygotes, but it also unjustly deprives them of gestation, and leaves them open to further manipulation.
Zygotes are subjected to preimplantation diagnosis, or ge-netic screening for specific qualities before being implanted.
Those possessing qualities that the parents or scientists deem undesirable are destroyed.
While human cloning has not yet taken place, it has been proposed as a possible means of reproduction.
Cloning involves using SCNT to create a clone, and then utilizing its pluripotent cells, or those capable of becoming organ systems, to repair damaged
or diseased organs in the original donor.
Since the cloned organ is genetically identical to the original, the body is less likely to reject it.
Stem cells are unspecialized cells that are capable of renew-ing themselves through
cell division.
Under certain conditions, stem cells can be induced to become tissue-specific or organ-specific cells with special functions.
Scientists must be encouraged and aided in their efforts both to treat infertility and develop therapeutic procedures in the service of humanity.
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