The London Independent reports (4 July 2011) that ‘IVF drugs may be linked to genetic defects discovered in embryos’. The Science Editor of the newspaper says that researchers have found that drugs used, particularly for ‘older’ women – women over thirty-five years of age – in the IVF procedures may be causing genetic defects in embryos. ‘The most important conclusion to be reached from this research according to the report, isn’t so much the “why” but that the screening process for eggs to be used in IVF must be improved.’ What a ‘solution’!
The report continues that improvement in screening will allow the scientists
‘to better identify eggs that have developed abnormalities that result in conditions like Down’s Syndrome. The issue of whether drugs used to stimulate ovulation are having a role is two-fold. Are the drugs damaging the eggs or simply releasing those that would otherwise be discarded naturally because of abnormalities? Or it could be the drugs have no role at all? We don’t know.’
At this point I would like to draw attention once again to the two Papal instructions, Donum Vitae and Dignitas Personae, that set out clearly the reasons why IVF must be rejected.
I would also like to mention the valuable writings of Fr. John Fleming, the well-known bioethicist, one of which, "Infertility in the Republic of Ireland" is available from European Life Network, contact firstname.lastname@example.org