Matters of Life and Death

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Infertility and IVF: Hidden wounds, premature quintuplets, embryo donation and the procreative-unitive bond

Today we are delving into a complex and sensitive topic – infertility and IVF. The statistics suggest about one in seven couples will be unable to conceive without some kind of medical intervention, and the most popular form of reproductive treatment is in vitro fertilisation – IVF. Partly because infertility is such a painful time for many of those experiencing it, we don’t talk about it much. The same is also true of IVF, even though today in some places the procedure now accounts for as many as five per cent of all births. In this episode we wanted to consider how infertility interacts with both church culture and broader society, for good or ill, and then examine the complicated ethical questions raised by IVF treatment. 


Some links which may be helpful for Christians who are experiencing infertility:

Saltwater and Honey - a collection of voices sharing their stories about infertility, miscarriage, childlessness and faith, plus lots of resources

The Rhythm of Hope - an annual retreat and community for Christian couples

Waiting for Children - a course which many churches around the UK run, including HTB who are running it online

John's book Matters of Life and Death also has several chapters exploring infertility and reproductive technology.

More Episodes

5/26/2021

Coronavirus: Miscounting deaths, the Sun's front page, key workers with long covid and vaccine generosity

In today’s episode we’re returning to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s been almost six months since we last dedicated an episode to covid, and since then a lot has happened. Hundreds of millions of vaccine doses have been delivered around the world, but are they going to the right people at the right time? We now know the vaccines increase by a tiny amount the risk you might experience a dangerous blood clot in the brain – how have we done at understanding that risk and putting it in its proper context? We’re also sadly much more familiar with long covid– what’s going on there and how should we as a society look after those suffering these symptoms? And finally, does the way we count – or rather, significantly undercount – deaths caused by coronavirus really matter?Please take our three-minute listener survey to help us improve the podcast - https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdJjFoI3G6a-5lJ07S7vBm_yxOkDVoDQXQfI6RnrZSJNI2zuw/viewformThe ONS report on how many people in the UK have long covid - https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/prevalenceofongoingsymptomsfollowingcoronaviruscovid19infectionintheuk/1april2021 The BBC Radio 4 programme on long covid - https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000w4t4The Sun's front page on the blood clot risk - https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/14589798/brilliant-front-page-oxford-astrazeneca-vaccine/The government's information page on the blood clot risk with the covid vaccines - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-and-blood-clotting/covid-19-vaccination-and-blood-clotting