An Expanded Partnership with God? In Vitro Fertilization in Jewish Ethics

Journal of Religious Ethics 25 (2):277-304 (1997)
Judaism has understood procreation as representing a partnership between God and humans, calling for both human reverence and action. The development of in vitro fertilization raises questions about the implications of this partnership and applications of this technology. A holistic approach to Jewish ethics, drawing on traditional sources, suggests that it can be appropriate for an infertile couple to utilize IVF using their own sperm and egg to have a child. The use of donated sperm, eggs, and embryos raises significant challenges that the couple must consider and address, but these procedures would be acceptable in appropriate cases. Additional issues, including preimplantation genetic testing and freezing embryos, must be considered in light of traditional precedents, ethical values, biomedical developments, and experience with the procedures.
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