Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Folly of interfering with nature

An extraordinary (or is it extraordinary?) story appeared on the front page of the Irish Times on 14 October last, which once again underlines the folly of trying to interfere with nature. A woman in Northern Ireland, who became pregnant and bore two children through IVF procedures, was denied legal damages for alleged negligence on the part of the organisation that was supposedly helping her to conceive.

The reason given for the case against the medical facility was the fact that the children were conceived following ‘donor insemination’ – but the ‘donor’ was a ‘Caucasian (Cape Coloured)’ person, resulting in the children having darker skin that that of their mother and her husband/partner. Also, it seems that the children were ‘markedly different from each other.’ The Court judge said of the case that: ‘The court is thus being asked to venture into the complexities of the creation of life, involving a unique physical and scientific process and to develop the law to deal with an instance where harvested eggs were fertilised with what has been termed inappropriate donor sperm.’

We have read, on a number of occasions, about mix-ups in IVF clinics, resulting in a ‘white’ baby being born to black parents, and a ‘black’ baby being born to white parents. Where do the rights of the child come in? Surely this is a situation – even if none other were needed – to demonstrate the denial and lack of human rights and dignity of human beings that is involved in the use of IVF techniques.

An article in the London Independent, also on 14 October, tells us that: ‘Those who can afford it pay up to £10,000 for IVF, but a gentler technique for the treatment of infertility, which does not have the baggage associated with IVF, priced at just £174, could soon be available to all. So why are experts dragging their heels?’ The ‘real cost behind the fertility industry’s pursuit of profit’ is discussed in the article. We know that it is the pursuit of profit that drives the fertility ‘business’ but, in the meantime, it is women – and men – who suffer from, often, false promises of success. And what of the countless numbers of human beings destroyed in the process? Are they all ‘disposable’ in the eyes of the ‘fertility experts’? Apart altogether from the inhumane treatment of innocent human beings resulting from the use of IVF techniques of whatever type, and the indignity suffered by the mother, and the father, in the process, we must always bear in mind the negation - by using IVF – of God’s plan for creation that supersedes all human activity.