Egg Opinions

Since I probably totally offended Mainline Mom yesterday by bringing it up in her blog comments, I thought I’d write my own post here. Without starting a debate about pro-life vs pro-choice or when life begins or any of that, what are people’s opinions on IVF and what should be done with leftover fertilized eggs? I’m just really curious about this because if someone is against using them for stem cell research or other things, what do you want to do with them?

For your reference, IVF (in vitro fertilization) is a process where eggs are fertilized outside of the womb, then implanted in the mother. Usually they fertilize more eggs than are actually needed, on the assumption that not all of them will work. So when the woman does get pregnant, there are often some leftovers. The options for dealing with them are pretty much: 1) store them indefinitely (very expensive), 2) use them for something (like stem cell research), 3) destroy them (seems wasteful to me), or 4) implant them all at once (see: the California octuplets).

So what do you think? If they’re going to be thrown away anyway, don’t you think it would be okay to use them for potentially life-saving research? Or should they be the responsiblity of the parents to either store or use up? Or are fertility treatments in general selfish and wrong, considering there’s so many adoptable children in the world?

7 comments on “Egg Opinions

  1. I believe strongly that they shouldn’t just be destroyed if something good can result from them. I believe in stem cell research and it’s hard for me to understand why people would be opposed to it when looking at a disease such as Parkinson’s, for example. In 2001 researchers said they were five to 10 years from finding a cure, then Bush banned new stem cell research the same year. All of these people are living with this disease that gets progressively worse, and they’re hoping something comes through for them in time. It’s really sad. I think the octuplet mom is a disgrace and she should be ashamed of herself. Like this earth needs all of those people. It’s selfish.

  2. As a someone who is pro-choice, many people find it strange that I am also against IVF and stem cell research. It really doesn’t have anything to do when life begins, but rather what are our motivations to create life. It’s one thing to have an abortion due to rape, or incest, or even if the child would create an immense hardship on the family and society. I can buy that. What I can’t buy is the idea of creating a potential life with the foreknolwedge that it will be destroyed, or even worse, in the case of stem cell research, for the sole purpose of being destroyed. I strongly believe that all life is sacred. If we choose to take a life, we better have a pretty damn good reason. To respond to Jen’s comment on how anyone could be opposed to stem cell research given its ability to cure diseases like Parkinson’s, my answer is simple: life is hard, and we all suffer. I don’t view it as a justification to throw a life away. The problem with science is that we are so worried about whether or not we CAN do something, we often forget to ponder if we SHOULD do it at all. I didn’t ask to be born with Tourette’s, and I didn’t ask to be born with depression. I wouldn’t wish my suicidal episodes on my worse enemy. But I can’t ask anyone to destroy an egg so that I or someone else won’t ahve to suffer. It may sound cold to most people, but I view this is as my cross to bear. Life dealt me a bad hand, and I will have to work with it. I can’t ask anyone else to give something so precious.

  3. Yeah, I would. I can make an argument for the use of existing fetilized eggs for stem cell research since the damage has already been done, but I’m not going to create new eggs to help save somone from the crappy hand life has dealt them. Somethings are just meant to be, and we need to learn to accept it.

  4. Oh go back and read my post! I’m not saying we should create new eggs, I’m saying let’s use the fertilized eggs for something useful rather than throw them away (or implant them all at once and have a litter of babies).

  5. ^ Bwahahaha !

    I think that throwing away embryos or letting them die slowly is just as disrespectful towards life as using them for IVF, so I’d rather they help someone else with them.

    I have to agree that purposely creating something just to harvest it for cells does ethically creep me out a bit, but are embryos sentient life ? I’m talking about at that stage of development, not their potential to become self-aware later on, kind of like how we eat “regular” eggs but not fertilized ones.

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