Matters of Life and Death
Reproductive technologies: the 'Google baby', Oliver O'Donovan, 14-day-old embryos, and techno-optimism
This week we are resuming our conversation about infertility which begun in our previous episode. If you haven’t yet listened to that discussion, which focused on IVF, we’d recommend pausing this and going back to it as we will build on some of the ideas we explored last time. Today, we moved on to consider new ethical issues among other reproductive technologies. This is an area of medicine and science which is developing fast, sometimes faster than ethicists and regulators can keep up. What would it mean if we were able to genetically screen embryos to choose the most desirable traits before pregnancy? Is surrogacy, a growing alternative to IVF, a good option for couples or could it unintentionally become exploitative? And more broadly, should we as Christians be concerned by this rush to find technological solutions to our human frailties?