IVF’s Life or Death Decisions
Click to Download PDF: Tiny Sparks newsletter. Fall 2020
Have you ever had to make a decision but you didn’t like any of the choices? After making your selection, did you feel unsettled? And even if you could logically defend or rationalize your decision, did you still feel uneasy?
People who undergo IVF are likely to be in just this type of situation. More often than not, IVF leaves people with embryonic children still frozen in liquid nitrogen. These tiny children will not (or cannot) be transferred and carried to term.
Cryopreservation pauses an embryo’s life; it does not end it. They way it works is that a newly conceived, living embryonic human being is dehydrated, vitrified, and stored in a state of “suspended animation.” Properly thawed and transferred to a uterus, his or her growth would resume.
But if transferring the child isn’t in the plans, how long will the embryo’s parents pay to keep him or her in storage? What are their alternatives?
IVF centers usually make three “disposition options” available to their clients. Many people struggle to make a decision, and sometimes ask seek unusual alternatives (see Words to Watch: Compassionate Transfer). If the selected option is one that causes the embryo’s death in the lab, its body is thrown away as medical waste.
SHG does not attempt to provide a “good” or “moral” alternative to the IVF disposition options that result in the death of embryos. Rather, our mission is to give the young people who die in IVF labs a Christian burial. This final disposition is infinitely more appropriate than treating human beings as medical waste.
Please pray for SHG’s mission and for everyone impacted by IVF, especially the embryonic children living in labs and in cryostorage.
Laura Elm Founder, Executive Director