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What Does the Bible Say About..Destroying Embryos?

What would the Bible say about allowing doctors to dispose of frozen embryos previously collected for in vitro fertilization? If they would no longer wanted by the body they came from? Is there a verse of book you can refer me to?

Answer

As I pointed out in What Does the Bible Say About..Surrogate Mothers?, there is no scripture that directly addresses in vitro fertilization.

Whether a doctor could destroy frozen embryos is a complicated question. If a person believes that abortion is the taking of a life, then when does the life begin? When the egg is fertilized, or when it is implanted in a person? If it is when the egg is fertilized, then those who object to abortion as the taking of a life would have to object to in vitro fertilization in general. That is because they have to fertilize a number of eggs just to ensure one viable one. The process already assumes that some will be destroyed. Just the process of freezing the embryos automatically destroys some. One could argue that in vitro fertilization would require that all eggs be implanted, whether or not the couple wanted multiple children.

If a person objects to abortion on issues other than taking a life (such as not taking responsibility for oneís actions), then the destruction of embryos that have not been implanted is not so complicated. Since the question of life or not is taken out of the issue, then it just comes down to the morality or ethics of destroying a tissue sample. Most people would not have an objection to destroying skin cells or the results of a biopsy. If the question of taking a life is removed, then destroying frozen embryos is no different.

If a person objects to abortion except in the case of incest, rape, or threat to the health of the mother then there should be no objection to destroying the embryos. If one does not object to abortion at all, then there would be no problem.

I know I have not given a clear answer, since I donít have a clear answer to the abortion issue. There just are no clear scriptures to guide one way or the other on this question, or the related issue of abortion.