In-vivo fertilization?


#1

Over Christmas, I got into a debate about whether or not in-vivo fertilization is licit with Catholicism. It was explained to me that the Couple to Couple League endorsed a method of moving an egg surgically past a blocked fallopian tube (I have no problem with this idea), and then the husband used a “Catholic condom” to ensure fertilization occured. I have severe reservations with this, as it was explained to me. Does anyone know more of what is being described? It sounds like it’s not a licit action, as it is divorcing the unitive and procreative aspects. And I have never heard of a “Catholic condom” before. I have a hard time believing that the CCL would endorse something that sounds so illicit…


#2

A “Catholic condom” is a condom with a hole in it. A husband has sex with his wife and semen is allowed entrance into her vagina. However, some of his seminal fluid is obviously still in the condom, and the doctors–or whoever–use what is left behind for whatever licit medical testing or purpose.

However, I have not heard use of the “Catholic condom” in context with IVF. I have heard this in the context of a husband needing to give sperm samples to determine if there is some hormonal or chemical imbalance inhibiting him from helping his wife conceive.


#3

I always wondered how a man was supposed to supply a semen sample! That makes sense.


#4

are we discussing in vitro fertilization? it is considered intrinsically sinful by the Church. there is a CA tract on thsi topic


#5

No, not in-vitro. I fully know what that is. In-vivo is something I hadn’t heard of before the conversation over Christmas.

From what I have since found out, I think what the person was referring to is the GIFT method. Apparently there is some disagreement among some theologians about whether or not it is licit. I can’t see any way that it would be–call it what you want, and have an air bubble physically separating the sperm and egg until implantion into the woman, but as far as I’m concerned it is artifical insemination. I have problems with Catholics promoting this option.


#6

I fi understand the prosess correctly: I would see it as illicit because even though the fertilization is in the proper place, the method of collecting the sperm (masturbation) is still illicit and even if a “catholic condom” is used, the fertilization is not from that act, but effected by the implantation if the remaining sperm, hence separating unity and procreation.


#7

[quote=Brain]I fi understand the prosess correctly: I would see it as illicit because even though the fertilization is in the proper place, the method of collecting the sperm (masturbation) is still illicit and even if a “catholic condom” is used, the fertilization is not from that act, but effected by the implantation if the remaining sperm, hence separating unity and procreation.
[/quote]

I would agree. How can it be licit?


#8

Any artificial methods of conception tend to provide excess fertilized eggs (embryos) which are then disposed of (essentially, aborted).

So yeah.


#9

If by in vivo you are referring to artificial insemination, this can be moral as long as the sperm is obtained morally (collected post intercourse). In this way, the action of the doctor is “aiding” the natural act to it’s natural end of conception.

For more information refer to Donum Vitae. It’s very clear.


#10

[quote=Ham1]If by in vivo you are referring to artificial insemination, this can be moral as long as the sperm is obtained morally (collected post intercourse). In this way, the action of the doctor is “aiding” the natural act to it’s natural end of conception.

For more information refer to Donum Vitae. It’s very clear.
[/quote]

Do you have a link?


#11

Here…

"6. HOW IS HOMOLOGOUS ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION TO BE EVALUATED FROM THE MORAL POINT OF VIEW?

Homologous artificial insemination within marriage cannot be admitted except for those cases in which the technical means is not a substitute for the conjugal act but serves to facilitate and to help so that the act attains its natural purpose.

The teaching of the Magisterium on this point has already been stated.(51) This teaching is not just an expression of particular historical circumstances but is based on the Church’s doctrine concerning the connection between the conjugal union and procreation and on a consideration of the personal nature of the conjugal act and of human procreation. "In its natural structure, the conjugal act is a personal action, a simultaneous and immediate cooperation on the part of the husband and wife, which by the very nature of the agents and the proper nature of the act is the expression of the mutual gift which, according to the words of Scripture, brings about union ‘in one flesh’ ".(52) Thus moral conscience “does not necessarily proscribe the use of certain artificial means destined solely either to the facilitating of the natural act or to ensuring that the natural act normally performed achieves its proper end”.(53) If the technical means facilitates the conjugal act or helps it to reach its natural objectives, it can be morally acceptable. If, on the other hand, the procedure were to replace the conjugal act, it is morally illicit. Artificial insemination as a substitute for the conjugal act is prohibited by reason of the voluntarily achieved dissociation of the two meanings of the conjugal act. Masturbation, through which the sperm is normally obtained, is another sign of this dissociation: even when it is done for the purpose of procreation, the act remains deprived of its unitive meaning: "It lacks the sexual relationship called for by the moral order, namely the relationship which realizes ‘the full sense of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love’ “.(54)”

And a link to the document…
vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19870222_respect-for-human-life_en.html


#12

[quote=Ham1]Here…

"6. HOW IS HOMOLOGOUS ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION TO BE EVALUATED FROM THE MORAL POINT OF VIEW?

Homologous artificial insemination within marriage cannot be admitted except for those cases in which the technical means is not a substitute for the conjugal act but serves to facilitate and to help so that the act attains its natural purpose.

The teaching of the Magisterium on this point has already been stated.(51) This teaching is not just an expression of particular historical circumstances but is based on the Church’s doctrine concerning the connection between the conjugal union and procreation and on a consideration of the personal nature of the conjugal act and of human procreation. "In its natural structure, the conjugal act is a personal action, a simultaneous and immediate cooperation on the part of the husband and wife, which by the very nature of the agents and the proper nature of the act is the expression of the mutual gift which, according to the words of Scripture, brings about union ‘in one flesh’ ".(52) Thus moral conscience “does not necessarily proscribe the use of certain artificial means destined solely either to the facilitating of the natural act or to ensuring that the natural act normally performed achieves its proper end”.(53) If the technical means facilitates the conjugal act or helps it to reach its natural objectives, it can be morally acceptable. If, on the other hand, the procedure were to replace the conjugal act, it is morally illicit. Artificial insemination as a substitute for the conjugal act is prohibited by reason of the voluntarily achieved dissociation of the two meanings of the conjugal act. Masturbation, through which the sperm is normally obtained, is another sign of this dissociation: even when it is done for the purpose of procreation, the act remains deprived of its unitive meaning: "It lacks the sexual relationship called for by the moral order, namely the relationship which realizes ‘the full sense of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love’ “.(54)”

And a link to the document…
vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19870222_respect-for-human-life_en.html
[/quote]

Thanks. I learned something.


#13

Glad I could be of help!

Don’t worry about not knowing it. Judie Brown (EWTN’s Website) didn’t know it either and she’s supposed to be an expert! :slight_smile:


#14

[quote=Ham1]If by in vivo you are referring to artificial insemination, this can be moral as long as the sperm is obtained morally (collected post intercourse). In this way, the action of the doctor is “aiding” the natural act to it’s natural end of conception.

For more information refer to Donum Vitae. It’s very clear.
[/quote]

I read the document and I read the link provided, but I still don’t see it as being clear. It mentions that “it is not a substitute for the conjugal act but serves to facilitate and to help so that the act attains its natural purpose.” Although the collection is done through the act, the insemination is done afterwards, which is not part of the act. My question is what is the distinction between aiding the act and replacing it. I guess I wonder whether taking sperm that was not in the wife as part of the marital act and using it to fertilize an egg (or put it in her tract to increase chances of fertilization) is aiding or replacing.


#15

[quote=lifeisbeautiful]I read the document and I read the link provided, but I still don’t see it as being clear. It mentions that “it is not a substitute for the conjugal act but serves to facilitate and to help so that the act attains its natural purpose.” Although the collection is done through the act, the insemination is done afterwards, which is not part of the act. My question is what is the distinction between aiding the act and replacing it. I guess I wonder whether taking sperm that was not in the wife as part of the marital act and using it to fertilize an egg (or put it in her tract to increase chances of fertilization) is aiding or replacing.
[/quote]

BTW, the “it” in the first sentence refers to the statement made by Ham1 that “If by in vivo you are referring to artificial insemination, this can be moral as long as the sperm is obtained morally (collected post intercourse).” The “it” in the second sentence refers to the exeptions of methods of insemination that are morally licit. I just noticed this was not clear.


#16

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