"leftover" embryos from IVF?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
"leftover" embryos from IVF?
11
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 10:57am
Just curious how everyone feels about this...

Are the leftover embryos not implanted in a woman after a successful IVF procedure alive? Do they have the right to continue to be alive? What if you won't or can't use them yourself... is it morally right to destroy them?

I for one feel they should be donated to women who want to undergo IVF but cannot produce their own embryos. However, THAT is a whole other issue too... It would be your full biological child out there, created from your strong desire to have a baby in the first place - not some accident or the result of rape. Someone who might come back and want to find you years later. Same as with any other adoption. I, for one, would have to think long and hard about undergoing IVF because I would be so torn about what to do with any remaining embryos. I say I would use them myself, but what if something went horribly wrong and I had an emergency hysterectomy after delivery? Without a uterus... there is no place to carry them.

Just curious - I can imagine if you are PC and think it is alright to abort a fetus growing in a uterus, you would think the same applies to a couple frozen cells in a petri dish. But if you are PL, and think life begins at conception... what do you do?

-Deb

 

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anonymous user
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 11:14am
what do you do? now there's a huge question. personally i don't think i could have ivf treatment for the exact reason that you stated, what would i do with the leftover embryo's. i think (and this is a *personal* opinion) that if God decides its not for me to have children of my own then i should adopt and give a child a home who otherwise might not get one.

i think though that the idea of giving the embryos to other women opens a whole new can of worms, if this became common practice we could end up with brothers and sisters dating without them even knowing it, which is not a situation that we want to ignore could happen because if this did happen it could have tragic consequences for any subsequent children along with alot of other problems to do with medical history etc.

very tough question...

Sparky

:-)

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-19-2003
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 11:20am
I would like to think that if I had extra embryos that they could be preserved(frozen) for future use. I'm sure that it is expensive and don't know if that is even available. Good question.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 11:38am
Yes, you can preserve them for future use. I don't know how much the storage costs.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-19-2003
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 11:49am
"Without a uterus... there is no place to carry them."

Would you ever consider a surrogate mother to carry your embryos? I know this is off subject..just curious.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2003
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 11:51am
Honestly, it's up to the parents. I really think the "extras" should be destroyed. It would be better than having them languish on ice, being used for experimentation, or even being donated. By donating them, you run the risk of requiring people to have DNA tests prior to getting married just to prevent inbreeding.

Kim 

Mom to Brad, Ma

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 12:16pm
I know two PL couples who have had a number of rounds of IVF. (By coincidence, the women are both daughters of preachers in our faith) I think how they handled it is, they only consented to a certain number of eggs to be fertilized - and that is the number they had implanted each time they tried. So they had no "leftovers" (I think). That's how I think it should be handled. If they're not intended to be implanted, don't create them.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 1:50pm
I don't know, to tell you the truth. I'd have to look into some of the legal issues before even considering the emotional ones. What was that - baby M or something that was the child of a surrogate parent who changed her mind? I guess it would be different if it was a full biological child of the parents, perhaps. Besides, that... that's a LOT of cash to put out to pay for the pregnancy, and frankly, I couldn't afford it. I doubt my insurance would cover someone else's pregnancy.

Anyway, like I said before - I'm really grateful it never came to IVF for me. There are too many issues that scare the hell out of me like these! I'm not knocking IVF, I can understand the extreme desire to have a child, I've been there myself. Thankfully, I conceived naturally in the end. A loved one, however, is having IVF, which is what brought these issues to my mind.

-Deb

 

Avatar for myshkamouse
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 3:21pm
Well, considering this applies to me directly now...I'll try to answer your questions.

"Are the leftover embryos not implanted in a woman after a successful IVF procedure alive?"

Yes, they are alive. But, they are 4-8 celled entities. They arent alive in the same way a fetus, let alone a child is alive. Having gone through IVF, and having seen pictures of our embryos at the 4, then 8 cell stage, then seeing our fetus's develop, I feel confident saying they really arent a human being yet, though they are live in the same way any simple organism is alive.

" Do they have the right to continue to be alive? What if you won't or can't use them yourself... is it morally right to destroy them?"

I personally think its morally okay to destroy them. As I said, they arent complex life forms. They are really life at its simplest form. Have you seen one before? Its beautiful the same way a picture of an atom or some other simple building block is beautiful. But, its not a human being yet, not even close.

"I for one feel they should be donated to women who want to undergo IVF but cannot produce their own embryos. However, THAT is a whole other issue too... It would be your full biological child out there, created from your strong desire to have a baby in the first place - not some accident or the result of rape. Someone who might come back and want to find you years later. Same as with any other adoption. I, for one, would have to think long and hard about undergoing IVF because I would be so torn about what to do with any remaining embryos. I say I would use them myself, but what if something went horribly wrong and I had an emergency hysterectomy after delivery? Without a uterus... there is no place to carry them."

We have 12 frozen embryos. I produced tons of eggs (like 45 or something!) and of those, 20 or so were made into embryos. 14 developed well, 2 were transfered (my twins), 12 were frozen.

I can tell you there will be no way we'll use all 12! But, as you may, or may not know, frozen transfers don't have as high a success rate as "fresh." So, we might transfer 3, not get pregnant. Transfer another 3, not get pregnant...etc. We'll keep ours frozen until we decide we don't want anymore children. Then, I am not sure what we'll do. I think we'll likely donate them because I feel for the men and women who can't produce their own. That would be heartbreaking. We'd do the donation annonymously so there would be no way there would be future issues. But, I wouldnt do this for moral reasons. I'd do it only because I think it would give a gift to another couple whose pain I can empathize with.

MM 29 weeks pregnant w/Ben & Emma

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 06-25-2003 - 4:58pm
Thanks for sharing your experience. It is excellent to hear about this directly from someone who has experienced it.

BTW, 29 weeks already? Wow! Getting close!

-Deb

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 06-26-2003 - 11:31am
Thanks, Myshka...I didn't realize all you'd gone through to get your little ones. I think it's really cool you'd donate your embryos...really giving...I wish more people would be so unselfish instead of destroying them or fighting over them in court! That's a really loving thing to do, especially after all YOU had to go through to get them here.

Thanks for sharing that...Sue

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