Human Life: Sacred or Plaything?

Author: Mirosław Rucki

In promoting euthanasia, abortion, or artificial fertilization we forget that we are only human beings. We are neither gods nor creators of life. We are not an objective fount of knowledge on the subject of human life; nor are we impartial judges. The fate we shape for others can visit us as well. The way we treat others can recoil upon our own heads.

Ask yourself honestly: how would you like to come into the world? Would you like to be conceived during a drunken orgy after which your mother has no recollection who your father is? Would you like to be the fruit of a “failed condom”? Or how would you like to be formed artificially in a test tube that combines your mother’s genes with a “sperm donor’s”?

No one will ever convince me that a normal person would wish to identify himself with anything else than a natural family. What normal person would want to live without feeling a biological and affective bond with his father and mother? What normal person would wish to be an “manufactured product” instead of the fruit of his married parents’ unselfish, enduring love? Why, then, do we persist in contriving such a fate for our children? Why do we keep pretending that artificial fertilization will solve a human problem? Has our society completely forgotten that without love a person is not a person? Are we no longer capable of treating our own children humanely?

Certain sections of our society are trying to persuade us that artificial fertilization is necessary to address the lamentable demographic situation in Europe and Poland. At the same time, they are campaigning for legalized abortion and universal contraception. Could there be a more preposterous misunderstanding? Those who have any concern for the future generations of the human race will have no difficulty in seeing that to assure natural demographic growth all we need do is allow our already conceived children to live. Conversely, how many human-producing factories must we build to equalize the loss due to abortion? For example, Great Britain performs 200,000 legal abortions yearly. Anyone with even a jot of good sense will tell you that instead of carrying out 200,000 in vitro procedures, you need only not to kill 200,000 babies. The demographic result will be the same, but from the point of view of the society’s health not to kill will be decidedly better.

 Note also that in vitro engineering is taking the place of treatment for infertility. Instead of taking the trouble to determine the causes of the infertility and carry out the necessary time-consuming and frequently unsuccessful therapies, doctors are increasingly taking the easy route by proposing artificial fertilization. From the demographic point of view this is a delayed action bomb, since in many instances, infertility (especially male infertility) is of genetic origin. Biologically speaking, the infertile couple has been precluded from producing offspring and thus the “infertility genes” are prevented from being further transmitted. The in vitro era has opened up a new stage in the history of the human population—a sudden spike in the number of individuals incapable of transmitting life naturally. It is not our demographers, then, who are happy with this state of affairs, but those who are making a brisk business out of infertility.

The artificial “husbandry of human beings” in no way satisfies man’s natural need to build conjugal and familial relationships. A doctor taking egg-cell samples is in no way reminiscent of a wife giving herself in a total act of love to her husband. Taking sperm samples is gross act of masturbation, having nothing to do with respect for one’s sexuality. The fertilization takes place outside of the woman’s organism, inside an incubator, which one would have difficulty calling a mother. It would be equally difficult to call the man, whose spermatozoon has been thrown into a test tube, a father. Would we want our children to call us “sperm donor” and “egg-cell provider” instead of “daddy” and “mommy”?

But this is not all. The most difficult stage of this technological process is the transfer of the embryo (that is, a human being, albeit conceived in an inhuman manner) to the uterus of the woman who wishes thus to satisfy her desire for motherhood. Does she know that the chances of this tiny human being’s survival are much less than the risk of it dying? Does it concern her that the doctor has produced in advance more of her children “in reserve,” and that, in order to increase the chances of at least one surviving, he implants into the woman’s uterus 3-4 embryos at once? Granted, in most countries the number of implanted embryos has been limited to two, but this does not change the fact that the “superfluous” one is still aborted. Does it not mean anything to the mother that only half of her artificially conceived children survive the unfreezing process? Is it really of no importance to her that of those surviving embryos only one in five has a chance of developing into a successful pregnancy? This process is more redolent of a “way of death” than a method of procreation.

Bear in mind also that even the best clinics do not guarantee successful birth of a healthy child conceived in a test tube. Few people know that no clinic in the world achieves results higher than 33%. On the average only 15-20% of couples choosing the in vitro route become “parents.”

It is obvious, then, that with such an “industrial” approach to the human being, the value of human life ultimately comes down to the amount of money that such a “service” is able to demand. And we are talking big money here. In 1999, in Poland alone, in vitro fertilization earned its providers in excess of 1.3 billion dollars. For this reason, the “service providers” must also pay attention to the quality of their macabre “service.” And since the probability of conceiving a healthy child in a test tube is so low, experimentation with the human embryos becomes an inevitable part of the production process. Call it “quality control” if you will. Two methods stand out: embryo reduction and selective elimination.

Selective elimination means monitoring the development of the child and murdering it in the event that some defect comes to light. Embryo reduction means murdering the child without examination, for the simple purpose of decreasing the number of children in the womb. While embryo reduction was introduced in the 1980s with the aim of saving the lives of at least some children in a multiple pregnancy, today it is widely employed to reduce the number of children at the parents’ request. But the harmless word “reduction” means the same thing as “elimination.” It is achieved by injecting potassium chloride into the child’s windpipe or (using a more modern method) by introducing KCl into the amniotic sac. In other words, the poor little unwanted human being, artificially summoned to life and called an “embryo” is seared to death by an aggressive chemical agent.

Small wonder that this new technology inexorably brings with it an avalanche of misunderstandings, health and legal problems, and an untold number of ruined interpersonal relationships. The following are just a few shocking examples:

 

         There are reports of errors in the process of artificial fertilization, resulting, for example, in one white couple ending up with black female twins and a British couple becoming parents of twins of Asiatic origin.

          A court in Japan was forced to make a ruling concerning a case of in vitro fertilization involving the sperm of a man who was no longer living.

          By a Supreme Court decision in Washington, two artificially conceived children were aborted in accordance with the wishes of the father, despite the fact that the mother wanted to bring them to full term. Similar cases have occurred in other US states.

          A court in Strasbourg, France, ruled that a human embryo enjoys no personal rights and thus may be destroyed in accordance with the law.

          Some parents are requesting that the child be of a particular sex. Such requests can be met in one way only: the conceived children of the other sex are murdered.

          An upper court in Sweden ordered a man, the sperm donor, to pay alimony for the support of three children born to a lesbian couple.

          The Polish press is running personal ads by couples seeking surrogate mothers for their artificially conceived children; needless to say, in return for hefty sums of money.

          A court in Poznan, Poland, recently had to determine whether a father has the right to renounce a child that was artificially conceived with the help of another man’s sperm.

 

We may well ask: why so many problems? The answer is trivially simple. We are the ones stuck with the problems, while those who create them make a mint on them. Economist Debora L. Spar, author of the book The Baby Business, estimates that the world market for artificial fertilization rakes in at least 500 billion pounds sterling yearly. Are we going to go on deluding ourselves that someone wants to make us happy by suggesting in vitro fertilization? Surely everyone must understand by now that this is simply business at the expense of health, happiness, and human life?

Consider just one instance. When the frozen embryo banks recently ran into a problem of too many artificially conceived children, did anyone acknowledge that in vitro fertilization was unnecessary? Did anyone stop to consider how to limit the number of unnecessarily “produced” children? No! The fate, the feelings, and the state of the frozen embryo-children was of no interest to anyone. And yet wanting to minimize their losses, the companies manufacturing human beings put out the following slogan: “You don’t want to see frozen human embryos used for scientific research? Then adopt one!” That is how they manifested their deception and cynicism: by appealing to our human feelings and reflexes, while at the same time continuing their macabre business. Surely it is time we took all this to heart!

           

Miroslaw Rucki

 

 

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