2020-06-17 17:10:00

The Russian Church officials debate about admissibility of in vitro fertilization

Moscow, June 17, Interfax - The Patriarchal Commission for Family official says it is early to change the church position on the in vitro fertilization.

"It is not only moral and ethical question, but also the question of the Church reputation. The Church cannot bless the procedure, after which about 70% of children are born with certain disorders in development, according to the official statistics of Russia's Pediatricians Union. The question if in vitro children are able to give healthy offsprings is also open," the Commission Executive Secretary priest Fedor Lukyanov told Interfax on Wednesday.

Thus he commented on the opinion of the Patriarchate's deputy property manager Bishop Savva (Tutunov), who supposed that approach of the Russian Orthodox Church to in vitro fertilization may be revised as today there is a possibility not to eliminate the so-called "excess" embryos.

The patriarchal commission official says that even if the only ovum is used during the in vitro fertilization (at the so-called in vitro fertilization of the "natural cycle"), the embryo perishes in 93% of cases which, according to the priest, "practically equals to a death sentence to the conceived child." Thus, "in vitro fertilization in "natural cycle" is rarely applied and is replaced with usual in vitro fertilization with selection (which means selection of the vital embryos with further cryoconcervation and exclusion of not vital embryos).

If the position of the Church is softened, it will provoke a wider spreading of the surrogate maternity based on the in vitro fertilization techniques. In its turn, it will give a chance to Church opponents to blame it in promoting this practice banned in many countries, Lukyanov believes.

He also reminded that surrogate maternity is considered morally unacceptable not only in the Church. Thus, honorary Chairman of the Executive Committee of Russia's Pediatricians Union Alexander Baranov condemned surrogate maternity and in vitro fertilization speaking at the 3rd Hippocrates Forum in Moscow and specified that the latter is dangerous for woman and child.