Artificial Insemination in Non-related People: A Morally and Religiously Unethical Way of Reproduction
Today, many reproductive technologies emerge in order to assist those people who desire to have children. One of these reproductive technologies is Artificial Insemination (AI). AI is a process in which the sperm is placed in a woman's vagina or cervix through a device when she is ovulating. The practice of AI process dates back to 1850s when J. Marion Sims inseminated 55 infertile women and was able to impregnate one. However, his experiments were later involuntarily terminated. In 1890, Dr. Dickinson pursued doing AI amidst the accusations of “adultery” by many. After a hundred of years, AID has been accepted by the people. Since no payments were required for sperm donors at that time, only a few criticized AI. Due to the non-progressive AID, the problem of infertility remained and people desired to have children. Finally, in the twentieth century, there was already an acceptance of AID by people (Pence, 2004, p. 167). There are two types of AI, Artificial Insemination by Donor (AID) and Artificial Insemination by Husband (AIH). AID, a sub-type of this process makes use of another person’s or a stranger’s sperm cells in order to allow fertilization and enhance reproduction. American Fertility Society (AFS) also discusses that:
AID is usually considered as an option by a couple when the husband or male partner has no viable sperm in his semen, when there is a rhesus (Rh) incompatibility between man and woman, or when the man does not want to transmit a genetic defect to offspring (as cited in Walters, 1997, p. 214). The number of sperm cells and the erectile ability of the husband are two of the factors affecting the couple’s fertility (Walters, 1997, p. 213). In addition, the only difference between the procedure of AIH and AID is the source of the sperm. AIH makes use of the husband’s sperm cells whereas AID makes use of the donor’s sperm (Walters, 1997, p. 214). Nowadays, sperm banks in most cases pay the semen donor after he undergoes all screening test, granting that his qualification were enough (Munson, 2004, p. 381). AID involves the use of a sperm from a non-related person, the alteration of the natural processes of life, and the commercialization of reproduction. Consequently, it poses some religious and moral considerations like eugenics, adultery and artificiality of procreation. While some of the people consider artificial insemination as morally acceptable, artificial insemination in non-related people is morally and religiously unethical because it promotes eugenics and adulterous relationship and lessens the value of procreation. This paper presents the discussion on AID as morally and religiously unethical in three parts. The first part mentions arguments against AID in terms of its eugenic purposes. The second part states arguments against AID as an adulterous activity. The third part cites the reasons that AID lessens the value of procreation. The arguments are also incorporated with the results from surveys with students, faculty members and other personnel of Silliman University. These add support to the claim that AID is a morally and religiously unethical way of reproduction. In AID, the women who request this procedure can select their desired qualities for their child from the list provided by sperm banks which includes the sperm donors’ brainpower, physical and academic attributes (Timbreza, 2007, p. 227). Before a sperm donor can donate his sperm cells, he must be screened for his qualifications. Specifically, the selection of donors involves a series of examinations such as complete physical and psychological examination, a sperm analysis, a genetic history, and appropriate blood tests including the test for acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) virus by physicians with application of precision and care. Aside from these requirements, they give preference to donors that have...
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