Oncofertility pp 261-278 | Cite as

Bioethics and Oncofertility: Arguments and Insights from Religious Traditions

  • Laurie Zoloth
  • Alyssa A. Henning
Part of the Cancer Treatment and Research book series (CTAR, volume 156)


This chapter seeks to explain our preliminary reflections on how different religious communities might use their texts and traditions to respond to and assess the ethics of oncofertility research and technologies. Specifically, this chapter will briefly explore the Catholic, Evangelical Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, and Buddhist traditions and their anticipated or potential contributions to the ethical discourse surrounding oncofertility. The chapter will sketch a few characteristic principles and describe some preliminary responses from practitioners that may guide each religion’s traditional stances toward reproductive technologies and procreation. The material presented herein builds upon exploratory research by two classes of undergraduate students at Northwestern University. The author’s additional research sought out additional sources and considered additional religious traditions. The students’ research included interviews with local ministers, rabbis, faith communities, including campus ministers, and also student participants in various religious traditions. The clergy, intrigued by the questions raised by the research, suggested some of the preliminary sources and general directions pursued in this chapter.


Assisted Reproductive Technology Religious Tradition Fertility Preservation Oocyte Cryopreservation Religious Perspective 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research was supported by the Oncofertility Consortium NIH 8UL1DE019587, 5RL1HD058296. We thank the undergraduate students in the winter 2008 and fall 2008 quarters of the Religion and Bioethics class of Northwestern University and Victor O’Halloran, a summer intern for the Oncofertility Consortium, for their assistance in researching and preparing material for this chapter. We also thank Sarah Rodriguez, Lisa Campo-Engelstein, and Bryan Breau for reading earlier drafts of this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Bioethics, Science and SocietyNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Religious StudiesNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

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