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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Abusing The Petri Dish

Over the centuries Science has proved invaluable to the advancement to mankind. Where would we be without the wheel, the light bulb, the computer and the Petri dish? We cannot envision ourselves living without these necessities, but as with everything else there is always the potential for abuse. By the way, can we manage without the Petri dish? One of my dear friends has three grand-children born by in vitro fertilization, and she thanks God everyday for them.

But the point I’m making is that some things are beyond our reach and we should not try to circumvent God’s will in order to have them. Many married couples agonize over their inability to have children, while others abort babies for one reason or another. What’s wrong and what’s right? To hatch or not to hatch? By the way, hatching is a term actually used in conjunction with IVF. The definition on one website is “Assisted hatching is a relatively new technique used during certain IVF procedures. It is performed in order to help an embryo hatch out of its protective layering and implant into the uterus.” Astonishingly, a term hitherto associated with animals is being used in reference to something as sacred as human conception.

If Aldous Huxley had to write about our society today he might name it “A Braver New world.” A world in which anything goes. You are single and want to have a baby? Go ahead. You are pregnant and want to get rid of it? Go ahead. You want to hatch? Go ahead. Leave God out of it. It’s my body. My right to choose. Sadly, we see the consequences of these misguided decisions. In the case of Ms. Suleman, amazement has turned to ridicule and anger at not just her but her doctor. Book, music and other publicity deals were expected to come out of this, according to one report. But this is one of the sad realities of our “Braver New World.”

So to answer the question above, can we do without the Petri dish? I would say, yes, we can, but let’s keep it. We are not getting rid of the light bulb so we shouldn’t get rid of the Petri dish. But let’s not abuse it. The UK, Australia and New Zealand have imposed restrictions on the number of embryos that can be transferred into a woman’s uterus. Maybe we need to do the same here in the US. After all, we get speeding tickets to help us be responsible on the roads, don’t we? Then why not help us be responsible with the lives of our children?
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