Essay on Ethics of In Vitro Fertilization

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In Vitro Fertilization
“The unexamined life is not worth living.” With these words, Socrates stated the creed of reflective men and women and set the task for ethics: to seek, with the help of reason, a consistent and defensible approach to life and its moral dilemmas (Walters 22). Ethical inquiry is important to us when we are unsure of the direction in which we are heading. “New philosophy calls all in doubt,” wrote John Donne in the wake of the Copernican Revolution and of Charles I’s violent death, suggesting that new thoughts had challenged old practices (Donne). Today, new practices in the biomedical sciences are challenging old thoughts: “New medicine calls all in doubt” (Walters 22).
Few moral convictions are more deeply ingrained
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Since the study of ethics is all about what is right and what is wrong, it is not possible to come to a correct conclusion unless one is directly appointed by God to make this conclusion. God is the only One who can correctly decree what is ethical and unethical; we as imperfect humans should not even attempt to do this job.
IVF raises many of these difficult moral issues. If the above conceptions about the nature of ethics were correct, however, discussion of these issues would either be futile (because morality is a matter of personal choice or opinion) or superfluous (because morality is what a divine or secular authority says it is) (Walters 23). In this paper, I want to suggest that it is not only possible, but also necessary to inquire into the ethics of such practices as IVF because the fact that we can do something does not mean that we ought to do it.

To begin with, I will provide the basic medical facts involving IVF to give a solid understanding of what goes into the whole process and what facts involving this process cause the questioning of the ethical and moral issues. Infertility affects about 4.9 million couples in the United States, or one in every twelve. Approximately one-third of infertility cases can be traced to causes in the female (Encarta). However, a small proportion of infertile…