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The discussions about the withdrawl of concent about IVF treatment in the news lately has been very enlightening to me as to how it works and I don't think I like it.

In principle I'm not against treatments to help people have children. However, keeping sperm and eggs frozen is one thing, keeping fertilised embryos is another.

Once that embryo has been created it's a life, what right have we to bung it in a freezer and decide whether it gets to carry on with that life or not?

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
yellowrocket
12th Mar, 2006 20:28 (UTC)
Another interesting thought... What are your views on abortion then?
hmmm_tea
13th Mar, 2006 18:36 (UTC)
I think they can probably be guessed quite successfully from my views on IVF above...

A life's a life, it should be given a chance.
cartesiandaemon
13th Mar, 2006 01:20 (UTC)
Obvious ponderables: At what point do you draw the line? Where the sperm and egg meet, or somewhere further along? If what's *there* is less sophisticated than a slime mold, does it get consideration based on it's potential? How does a separate egg and sperm have less potential?
hmmm_tea
13th Mar, 2006 18:39 (UTC)
There are millions of sperm and millions of eggs that never get fertilised. The chances of any given sperm or egg developing into a fully developed individual are miniscul.

As for embryos that's a different matter. The genetic material of that individual is then there. The only difference between it and what the vast majority of people would count as life is a certain "maturation period" (for want of a better term).
sonicdrift
13th Mar, 2006 19:52 (UTC)
But an embryos only a *chance* of life. It won't necessarily even implant, even if it does may have genetic abnormalities and naturally miscarry.

(I think egg freezing is actually quite tricky and has only recently become practical, I'm not even sure how available it is, which I believe is why she's in this unfortunate situation)
hmmm_tea
14th Mar, 2006 19:16 (UTC)
But an embryos only a *chance* of life

Yes, but what right have we to take that chance away?
cartesiandaemon
14th Mar, 2006 13:20 (UTC)
Well, I guess that's a consistent view, which puts you ahead of most people, including me. Though I currently aren't convinced that something of the complexity of a cell deserves consideration because it would become alive.

Hmmm. What about cloning? My discarded finger cell contains the genetic information for a complete, different[1] person. Do I have a moral obligation to clone it?

Is it the probability of that happening if I don't interfere? What about someone almost certainly going to die I might be able to save, shouldn't I?

[1] Same genes as me, but it would be a different person.
hmmm_tea
14th Mar, 2006 19:21 (UTC)
Your finger cells wouldn't generally develop into a clone of you of their own accord.

I think the major difference is in the embryo case it's human intervention stopping life from happening, whereas with the cloning, etc it's human intervention that started the life happening.

OK it's human intervention that created the embryo in the first place, but that's not the issue I'm addressing, once created I don't see we have the right to undo that. Same way as if we made a clone of you I don't think we have the right to distroy either copy, so we'd just be stuck with 2 of you...
cartesiandaemon
15th Mar, 2006 16:43 (UTC)
Hmm, ok. I think we disagree about a basic point. I would extend consideration to something that *is* alive, feeling, sapient, but not something that's going to be. Whereas you would.

I felt there must have been a good example which shows the problems with your ideas, but nothing I suggested was.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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