Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics

Living Edition
| Editors: Henk ten Have

Assisted Reproductive Technology: ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection)

  • Maurizio Mori
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-05544-2_31-1


ICSI is the acronym indicating a new reproductive technique available since 1992, consisting in the injection of one sperm into one oocyte and subsequent transfer of the embryo in a woman’s womb. ICSI appears to be very efficient to overcome some kind of infertility and is a promising way to increase control over human reproduction. However, doubts and objections have been raised from both medical and religious quarters. Medical challenges had mostly been directed to the safety of ICSI, but most recent epidemiological research made clear that ICSI children are as healthy as sexually conceived children. Religious criticisms come mostly from the Roman Catholicism, which does not accept the separation between procreation and the conjugal act involved in any form of assisted reproduction. In ICSI such a separation is more neat and complete, and therefore, this technique is even worse than others. However, from a more general bioethical viewpoint, ICSI appears to be a new step forward for a better control of human reproduction which may open new frontiers for humankind.


Assisted reproduction In vitro fertilization Reproductive control Infertility treatment Roman Catholic doctrine Child well-being 
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Further Readings

  1. De Wert, G. (1998). Ethics of intracytoplasmic sperm injection: Proceed with care. Human Reproduction, 13(Suppl. 1), 219–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Hoffman, B. (2003). Technological assessment of intracytoplasmic sperm injection: An analysis of the value context. Fertility and Sterility, 80, 930–935.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Pollack, M. J. (2002). Intracytoplasmic sperm injection: A bioethical analysis. The Einstein Quarterly Journal of Biology and Medicine, 19, 13–19.Google Scholar
  4. Sànchez Abad, P. J., & Pastor Gracìa, L. M. (2005). La inyeccion intracitoplàsmatica de espermatozoides: Avance o imprudencia cientifica? Murcia (Espana): Editorial Fundaciòn Universitaria San Antonio.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TurinTurinItaly