A Roman Catholic Perspective on Simple Case Assisted/Artificial Reproduction

By Corey Harris.

Published by The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: December 16, 2015 $US5.00

Infertility is a problem for many couples. The official stance of the Roman Catholic Church is that all methods of artificial reproduction are morally illicit. This paper argues that simple case assisted/artificial reproduction (a married man and woman using his and her own gametes) should sometimes be considered permissible within a Roman Catholic context. To reach this conclusion, three core arguments are put forward. The language employed in the official documents of the Catholic Church is rooted in a particular moral understanding rather than a medical perspective. The methodological perspective used in official Catholic pronouncements defines and applies “natural” as a moral qualifier in a manner that is problematic. Those morally problematic complications that the Catholic Church considers to be inherent to ART can be avoided. While some other Catholic writers have also reached the conclusion that ART is not per se wrong, those authors have also concluded that ART is to be avoided on the basis of cost and allocation of resources. This paper argues that the moral permissibility of ART should not be tied to the cost of the procedures, a nation’s health care policies, or the allocation of its health care resources.

Keywords: Bioethics, Reproductive Technology, Roman Catholic Theology

The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society, Volume 6, Issue 2, June 2016, pp.31-40. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: December 16, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 411.932KB)).

Dr. Corey Harris

Assistant Professor of Theology, Humanities Department, Alvernia University, Reading, PA, USA