Ethical Dilemma: Embryo Harvesting and Freezing/Genetic Manipulation

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Posted by KarenHill KarenHill
An embryo is the development that arises because of the fertilization of the female egg. It is the early developmental stage of a fetus within the first eight weeks of fertilization. Harvesting refers to the extraction of a female egg, ovum and a male cell, sperm purposely for artificial fertilization. During the extraction of the ovum, ultra-sound guided needle is used to enhance careful operations. The eggs are then stored in tubes containing nitrogen liquid; this process is called freezing. Freezing is performed to eliminate any traces of ice crystals that may lead to the damage of cells. Fertilization of the ovum is then performed by injecting a single sperm into the ovum. Genetic manipulation entails making available desired conditions that will lead to the desired traits in the embryo. Elimination is also done to that embryo that manifests undesired traits. Ethical theories are various arguments that give directions on various causes of actions to be adopted for various situations. Consequentialism is one of the major ethical theories. The theory stipulates that an action should be adopted based on its consequences. It states that if the consequences of the cause of action are good, then it should be adopted; and when the results are negative, then it should not be adopted. Additionally, it states that good consequences are those in which happiness is maximized. The theory further stipulates that sometimes, the traditional moral values can be undermined in order to carry out an action that has positive results. Besides, the consequences should be beneficial to the majority of persons. The theory does not give a fixed judgment on the use of technology to create life. Decisions on whether or not to create life by using technology should greatly rely on the consequences of an action and not even the existing governing rules.
Social and moral values are generally accepted ethical standards in a given society. On the other hand, norms are the principles that guide and regulate the actions undertaken by members of a given society. Technological use in life creation has greatly impacted norms, moral and social values of the society. In addition, nursing practices have also been affected by these developments. Marriage is a social institution that is highly regarded in any society with the central purpose of raising siblings. Posthumous conception has led people opting to remain single but use technology to acquire offspring. This has had devastating effects on the social set-up as siblings are raised in single-parent families, and instilling a notion in them that this is the order of the day. Consequently, chauvinism will arise; this occurs since men will not realize the need of women in marriage; women as well will not realize the need of men in marriages. This is clearly manifested in the United States, where several families are single parented. These developments have corrupted the sanctity of marriage, as viewed by various religious doctrines that instruct that marriage is a constitution of two different sexes uniting. It is a generally accepted that life begins at conception and ends at death. Death should be natural and no one should terminate life. Posthumous conception has largely violated this as during genetic manipulation, embryos portraying undesired traits are terminated and others are developed. Due to many controversial arguments and moral concerns, various governments have adopted a policy that only people with official consent are authorized to indulge in the assisted reproduction technology. The policy has diversified nursing practices as nurses perform the assurance of the consent. Besides, the advancement in technological use has demanded for nurses also to be competent in technological use.
In an interview with a catholic priest, he strongly criticized the use of technology in life creation. He argued that the process lowers human dignity; the act of life being cultured in a test tube was very diminishing. He stated that the procedure adopted was very daring and could result into the loss of precious lives. Opposing the idea, some experts agree that his clarification was that the development of life should only take place in the uterus, as designated by God. Moreover, he opposed the action of terminating the undesired traits during the genetic manipulation stipulating that nobody can control one’s life if not God. In line with the case in question, he stated that Capato’s family indulgence in posthumous conception was evil and misguided. He stated that children are blessings from God, and the family was to be satisfied with one child naturally conceived. In relation to marriage, he stated that the process was a threat to marriage that was a Holy institution. He stipulated that a marriage union ends on the demise of one partner. He opposed the act of Capato’s wife using his sperm even after his death stating that this is contrary to marriage principles since death made an end to their union. Since technological creation of life entailed looking for sperm and ovum with desired traits, he opined that the practice could lead to infidelity that was a contradiction to marriage principles that advocated for faithfulness in abiding to one partner. The above argument can be formulated into the following logical questions:
· Does technological life creation compromise human dignity?
· Should undesired traits be terminated during genetic manipulation?
· Does posthumous conception promote infidelity in marriage?
In conclusion, it becomes evident that in view of the consequential theory, technological creation of life has a flurry of negative consequences, and individuals should at all costs stick to the natural way of conception.
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