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Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Regulation, Schmegulation

1. "N.J. OBGYN's Receptionist Accused Of Injecting Abortion Drugs"

"A New Jersey obstetrician's receptionist has been charged with practicing medicine without a license for using abortion-inducing drugs on three patients.

"Lakewood police said Liza Berdiel's boss, Dr. Flavius Thompson, apparently didn't know what his receptionist was doing. Police said Berdiel performed the abortions after hours or when the doctor wasn't working."


2. "Fertility clinics unregulated"

"A new survey of U.S. fertility clinics found that few have policies for deciding who to help get pregnant -- an issue drawing fresh attention because of claims that a 66-year-old woman in Romania gave birth over the weekend...A whopping 80% of clinics had customers meet with financial coordinators, but only 18% had them see a social worker or psychologist."

See a trend here? Same thing happens at abortion clinics...the money drives this industry too.

"'Assisted reproductive technologies are too driven by the desires of couples and not enough by the interests of children,"'said Arthur Caplan, bioethics chairman at the University of Pennsylvania and one of the survey's authors...About 100,000 pregnancy attempts are made each year using in vitro fertilization, in which eggs and sperm are mixed in a lab dish and the resulting embryos are implanted in the womb. More than 177,000 babies have been born this way in the United States."

"Researchers sent surveys to directors of 369 clinics or doctors' offices offering these services across the country; 210 responded."


Makes one wonder why the other 43% of them didn't respond. That's a lot. Since there are minimal to no regulations, they don't have to tell what they're doing.

"Two-thirds [of the clinics responding] believe they have a responsibility to consider parents' fitness before helping them conceive."

Only two-thirds? And note the word is "responsibility" not "legal obligation." There is no legal obligation to determine health-worthiness for parent and child, and yet at 100,000 attempts yearly, this is among the most health-critical procedures around.

"Caplan called [having a baby at age 66 via IVF] 'completely unethical and immoral,' noting that average life expectancy for Romanian women is 73 years. The fact she is single makes it worse because it raises the odds the child would have no one to care for her if the mother dies, he said. States need to set guidelines on some big issues, such as helping women have babies after menopause, similar to agencies that limit adoptions to people younger than 55, he believes.The reproductive medicine society's policy says the mother's age alone doesn't make fertility treatment unethical."

No, it's unethical and immoral at any maternal age, partly due to the fact that embryos that "don't take" are still lost human beings with souls after all, and those unused and left frozen in a lab are also destroyed like guinea pigs. I can't prove it but I am quite certain there's more regulation on the scientific experimentation using lab animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs than on IVF or embryonic stem cell research.

After all, the former are considered live beings.

I at least know that area well: many moons ago I was a Laboratory Supervisor in a university Psychology Department. For 3 years, I managed the labs, equipment and the animal quarters: care, feeding, clean-up, euthanization, the whole bit. (You haven't lived till you've cleaned up--daily--after 60 rabbits and 80 rats. And me with my allergies!) I know the regulations for caring for and disposing of lab animals, and how strict they are or are not. I once noticed lab rats dying of convulsions and swelled brains after certain brain surgery from one Psych. class, and was reprimanded for reporting it. The professor was not interested in following any better sanitary or surgical standards because he wasn't required to by law. For rabbits and larger mammals, yes, but not lab rats or mice. After investigating further, though, he found that his students had overdone one aspect of the surgery and that's why so many rats were dying. Once he corrected their technique, the problem stopped just like that.

That's just the kind of thing that can happen when there are no regulations or not enough good ones.

I used to think IVF was great for infertile couples, but now that I know how many human lives have been created and destroyed and are still being destroyed--either dumped or donated to stem cell research--I just can't support artificial conception any longer.

Techniques like IVF and artificial insemination divide the sexual act from the reproductive act. It isn’t any longer something sacred where two people give themselves as gift to one another. It becomes less a matter of love and more one of trusting doctors and scientists to impose technology over the origin and future of the human person. This takes away from the perfectness God intended for procreation to be, by deleting the parents from the actual, natural act. I feel now that it goes against natural law. It diminishes the dignity of the person created because there’s no real respect for the unity of that human being when the way s/he was created is artificial and born of disunion.

It also can hurt and diminish the dignity of the parents. More on that later, if I’m allowed to share a personal story from one of our readers. Still waiting to receive permission…

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