The Instigator
PlainTruth
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Geogeer
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

Is IVF Murder?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Geogeer
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/5/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,813 times Debate No: 54066
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (2)

 

PlainTruth

Pro

Not a huge in depth debate here.
Just simply this: As a Christian, if you take 12 eggs, fertilize them (definition of life) and implant them...knowing 1 or more (typically many) will die and you do this anyway...it is in fact murder. Because of your actions a life was stopped. Yes, you can argue the point that this life wouldn't have ever had a chance to be born without your involvement and while this is true, you brought to life an egg/sperm knowing all of them would not live through the fertilization process.
I know this is a tough subject and I am not here to condemn, there is forgiveness in Jesus Christ. I would like to hear an argument against if someone has one however.
Geogeer

Con

Opening Remarks

I wish to thank Pro for the opportunity to partake in this debate. While I agree that IVF is immoral, I do so for other reasons than Pro. However, that is not the focus of this debate. This debate is about whether IVF is murder. Now, while there may be associated practices with IVF that are murder, IVF in and of itself is not murder.



Rebuttals

1. Incorrect Procedure

Pro opened his argument with an example of taking 12 fertilized eggs and re-inserting them into the mother. This is neither a necessary practice under IVF nor is it a common practice.

The number implanted is recommended to be between 2-4 [1] depending on the age of the mother. Thus the scenario set up by Pro is a false scenario that is neither a common practice, nor necessary under IVF. Under IVF it is possible to only have one embryo inserted at a time. Thus Pro is incorrectly arguing about particular practices that may, or may not, be carried out under IVF treatments.


2. Murder

Pro further argues that an embryo that fails to survive either the implantation process or the maturation process has essentially been murdered by the parents. This too is a logical falsehood, because unborn children die under natural procreation as well. About 10-20% of known pregnancies end in miscarriages and this does not include situations where the fertilized egg is lost before or during implantation. [2] Studies have shown that 30-50% of fertilized eggs are lost before or during implantation [2].

Thus, if it was murder for a woman who lost a child who was conceived under the IVF process, it would equally be murder for a woman who lost a child that was naturally conceived. As it is an obvious fallacy that a woman who lost a child conceived naturally is guilty of murder, it is an obvious conclusion that a woman who lost a child conceived through IVF she is equally innocent of murder.


Conclusion

Not only have both of Con's primary arguments not been established, they have been completely refuted. I look forward to any new arguments that Con may introduce.


[1] http://www.babycenter.ca...
[2] http://www.babycenter.com...
Debate Round No. 1
PlainTruth

Pro

A sincere thank you goes out to Con for agreeing to this debate.
You are obviously schooled in debate, this is evident in your response. That being said, I still have a few points.
1) Your statement of the number of implanted eggs being between 2-4 is correct however, the ones that are chosen to be implanted are done so with regards to the health/strength of the eggs. Eggs deemed to be week or non-desirable are commonly pushed aside or even discarded. So while it is true a few are implanted in the uterus 12-24 are fertilized after which the 'best' ones are selected. Now, one can even have a 'designer baby' and choose the sex, hair color and more. The ones that do not meet this desire, they are commonly wasted.
It is also common after failed attempts to implant more and more eggs in each trial. This is why we have quintuplets born to persons in IVF clinics often.
2) Pregnancies that fail to last are called spontaneous abortions or miscarriages. Any fertilized egg which implants if lost is lost due to a miscarriage. Thus the statement made of 'fertilized eggs being lost before or during implantation' a fallacy. By definition an egg which is lost before implantation can not result in failed pregnancy.

My conclusion
If IVF was done with one egg and one sperm, fertilizing this union and implanting the fetus (baby) and it results in a spontaneous abortion I would not argue this as murder. This, if there is any virtue in IFV, is the way to proceed. This way no life would be not strong enough, not the right sex, disabled... . No life would be lost in the process of trying to conceive.
Imagine for a moment: you fertilize a dozen eggs and one comes back with a disability, maybe down syndrome. Are you going to implant this one? Maybe some persons out there are caring enough to do so but the majority of parents will never implant the baby listed above. Remind you of anything in our history? I remember a time when 'undesirables' were the first ones in the gas chambers.
Life is precious, all life and is given by our Creator and should be left to Him. When we make life (normally for our own selfish desire to conceive) and we know that all of this life will not make it through the process but we do it anyway...it is my passion this is indeed murder.

Looking forward to round 2.
PT

If you are looking for a 'fun' argument against IVF: now you can freeze the embryos, for many years...imagine giving birth to one of your uncles/aunts or even a sibling.
Geogeer

Con

Opening Remarks

I wish to thank Pro for the cogent arguments that he brought to the table in the first part of this round. As noted in Round 1, I fully agree that IVF is immoral. However, I wish to remind the readers that this debate is not about the morality of IVF, not about whether those implementing the IVF procedure murder unborn children, but is about whether the actually process of IVF is murder.



Rebuttals

1. More Eggs Produced Than Implanted

Pro has noted that multiple eggs (12-24 presented) are fertilized, and then certain fertilized eggs are then implanted. We fully agree that this practice commonly associated with IVF is murder. However, as noted in our opening argument, this debate is whether IVF is murder.

The practice of fertilizing more eggs than are planned to be implanted is a common practice associated with IVF, but not absolutely necessary for IVF. Thus it is not IVF itself that Pro is showing to be murder, but simply a common practice that is not strictly necessary. IVF can be implemented by freezing unfertilized eggs and then fertilizing the eggs one at a time, then implanting them one at a time.

Pro goes on to argue that this permits for designer babies by choosing which fertilized eggs are implanted. Once again, if only one egg was fertilized then implanted, there would be no designer babies and associated murder of the other fertilized eggs that were not implanted.


2. Failed Pregnancies

Pro agrees that a child that is miscarried after implantation is not murdered and is instead spontaneously miscarried. No argument here.

Pro continues the argument that fertilized eggs that are not implanted are not failed pregnancies because they do not meet the criteria of being pregnant - i.e. implantation of the embryo in the woman's uterus.

The term failed pregnancy was never used by either party in Round 1. My argument was simply that fertilized embryos that die prior to birth will die by one of 2 means. Naturally miscarried, which both sides agree is not murder, and failure to implant. Some of those fertilized eggs simply die before implantation and others which are alive fail to implant as they move through the uterus. Neither of which is the fault of IVF because both occur naturally as well.


3. Multiple Implantations

Pro argues that "it is also common after failed attempts to implant more and more eggs in each trial." This is true, but once again this is a practice associated with IVF, and not inherent to IVF. There is no need to actually fertilize multiple eggs and implant multiple eggs at at time.


4. Screening for Genetic Diseases

Pro makes one final argument. The screening of the fertilized eggs would reveal which ones contain genetic anomalies enabling the doctors to not implant those particular fertilized eggs.

As with the previous points, this is a practice associated with IVF and not IVF itself. It is not necessary to test the embryos for genetic anomalies. That some doctors may partake in this practice, does not mean that it is an intrinsic part of the IVF process.


Conclusion

As with the previous round, Pro's arguments have been fully refuted. IVF minimally harvests one egg, fertilizes it and re-inserts it into the woman. In no way is this murder.

It is not disputed that the many of the practices surrounding this minimal version of the process are murder and are even justification for banning the process. However, those assoicated practices are not what is being debated. What is being debated is whether IVF itself is murder. I have made this a debate about semantics from the beginning - which is something that I normally avoid. However, the semantics in this case are about accurate definition of what IVF actually is, versus all of the things that tend to occur in IVF procedures.

Pro has failed once again to show that IVF necessitates the murder of an unborn human being. Instead, every argument he presents deals with one of a variety of associated practices in implementing IVF. A fine, but important distinction.
Debate Round No. 2
PlainTruth

Pro

Maybe I should have ruled out semantics as part of any competing strategy?

Semantics aside, con brought up the fact that IVF does not need to have more than one fertilized egg implanted, thus showing this is in fact not murder. Can we agree on the fact that if one does take multiple eggs and implant, is this murder if one knowingly does this and it results inevitably in the death of one or more of those eggs?
I agree, if IVF is done without implantation of multiple eggs it is not murder. My original premise was that of, if one chooses to created multiple lives knowing one or more of these lives will die during the process, this is murder. While it may be an option to consider this procedure without destruction of human life it is not common, nor even heard of in my case. If there has been someone who chose to do IVF and created one fertilized egg, implanted it and then repeated if it was unsuccessful I would applaud them. This is more a mere fantasy then reality however.
To argue the fact that someone would not be liable for a decision they made because it is common practice is also incorrect. Many of those who drove Jews into the chambers were just doing what was the norm. This is also true with respect to slavery, women voting and so on. So to let one 'off the hook' because 'everyone else is doing it, this is just wrong.

In conclusion, con and myself seem to agree on the face of this but semantics have turned this into a debate of two likeminded individuals.
My original premise of: IVF being murder if one still chooses to create multiple lives KNOWING one or more of them will perish, this is in fact murder would stand.

I have enjoyed this debate and look forward to the conclusion and final remarks from con.
Thank you for the debate!
PT
Geogeer

Con

Opening Statement

Thanks to everyone who has read this far through the debate. I will try to wrap this up quickly as Pro provided no new arguments in this Round.


Rebuttals

Can we agree on the fact that if one does take multiple eggs and implant, is this murder if one knowingly does this and it results inevitably in the death of one or more of those eggs?

If 2 eggs are implanted and one dies of natural causes this is not murder. It is either a failure to implant, a spontaneous abortion or natural death of the child. All of which occur naturally with children conceived naturally.


My original premise was that of, if one chooses to created multiple lives knowing one or more of these lives will die during the process, this is murder.

If this is true then any couple having sex are potential murderers as I showed in my opening arguments that studies have shown that roughly 50% of children conceived naturally will die prior to birth. This is unfortunately a tenuous stage of life in which a large percentage simply fail to survive.


While it may be an option to consider this procedure without destruction of human life it is not common, nor even heard of in my case.

If the topic of the debate was: "Is the way IVF treatments are commonly carried out murder" - Pro would have a point. However, I was clear from the outset that it is the associated non-mandatory practices that are carried out along with IVF that are murder, not IVF in and of itself.

This is analogous to saying that just because some guy runs the shower for 15 minutes before getting in that showering wastes more water than is necessary to get clean. No, it is just that the practices surrounding the way some people shower wastes water. It is a poor associated process that wastes water.


To argue the fact that someone would not be liable for a decision they made because it is common practice is also incorrect. Many of those who drove Jews into the chambers were just doing what was the norm. This is also true with respect to slavery, women voting and so on. So to let one 'off the hook' because 'everyone else is doing it, this is just wrong.

I fail to see how my argument has implied this line of reasoning in any manner. My argument is that IVF itself is not murderous in nature. However, I would argue that one of the reasons that IVF should not be carried out is because you could not guarantee that parents and doctors would ensure that the associated processes that do result in murder were not employed.

As for the Holocaust, the purpose of driving the Jews into the gas chambers was to kill them. The purpose of slavery was to enslave those people, etc... Unlike these examples, the purpose of IVF is to give the parents a child - not to kill embryos. The fact is that if done properly, some embryos will die in the exact same manner as would occur with naturally conceived children - is just a statistical reality.

My original premise of: IVF being murder if one still chooses to create multiple lives KNOWING one or more of them will perish, this is in fact murder would stand.

As previously noted, a woman who has one or two embryos implanted in her does not KNOW that one or two of them may die. However, it is likely that they might. In the same way women who get pregnant naturally don't KNOW that they will miscarry or have an embryo not implant. However, the odds are good that they might.

Thus this cannot be classified as murder, but simply natural death.


Concluding Remarks

I believe that I have made it clear that there is a distinction between IVF and the associated processes that occur around IVF and, as such, have shown that IVF is not a murderous process in and of itself.

I wish to thank Pro for an entertaining hard fought debate. I further wish to thank all readers who have elected to read through this debate. I look forward to your comments in the votes.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Geogeer 2 years ago
Geogeer
Thanks to arctimes for the vote.
Posted by Geogeer 2 years ago
Geogeer
Thanks to iamanatheistandthisiswhy for his vote.
Posted by Geogeer 2 years ago
Geogeer
I know it is semantics, but I view it that if we are going to get to the truth about IVF we have to be accurate in exactly what everything really is.
Posted by PlainTruth 2 years ago
PlainTruth
Con,

Thank you for the debate, it was very interesting and contested well.
I am also looking forward to the voting, let's see who made their point better. With your not-so-subtle usage of semantics you may have an edge but we will see.

Again, well done,
PT
Posted by PlainTruth 2 years ago
PlainTruth
The debate is still open!
Posted by Geogeer 2 years ago
Geogeer
While I agree with your premise I disagree with your argument.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by ArcTImes 2 years ago
ArcTImes
PlainTruthGeogeerTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: This was an interesting debate. Con gave sources and showed flaws in Pro's arguments. Pro accepted some of this flaws and then argumented for murder in certain cases. Con showed that those were natural deaths. So points on sources and arguments goes to con.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
PlainTruthGeogeerTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Firstly I think most points in this debate can be tied as both debaters were respectful and did well with S&G. Source points go to Con as they were provided. The argument points have to go to Con, as Pro seemed to not understand some core concepts of IVF. As such a lot of Pros arguments did not make sense and were easily dismantled by Con.