Assisted Reproductive Technology: ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection)
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.
KeywordsAssisted reproduction In vitro fertilization Reproductive control Infertility treatment Roman Catholic doctrine Child well-being
- Benedict XVI. (2008). Address to the Participants in the International Congress organized by the Pontifical Lateran University on the 40th Anniversary of the Encyclical Humanae vitae, L’Osservatore Romano, 11 May 2008, 1. http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2008/may/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20080510_humanae-vitae_en.html . Last access on 15 Jan 2015.
- Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. (1987). Instruction Donum Vitae on respect for human life at its origins and for the dignity of procreation (22 February 1987): AAS, (1988), 70–102. http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19870222_respect-for-human-life_en.html . Last access on 15 Jan 2015.
- Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. (2008). Instruction Dignitas Personae on certain bioethical questions, (8 September 2008) AAS, 100, 858–887. http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20081208_dignitas-personae_en.html . Last access on 15 Jan 2015.
- Flamigni, C. (2012). Marzo 2012. http://www.carloflamigni.it/scripta/bambini_nati_dalle_tecniche_di_procreazione_assistita.html. Last access on 15 Jan 2015.
- Flamigni, C. (2013). Maggio 2013. http://www.carloflamigni.it/scripta/aggiornamento-bambini-nati-procreazione-assistita.html . Last access on 15 Jan 2015.
- Henningsen, A. A., Gissler, M., Skjaerven, R., Bergh, C., Tiitinen, A., Romundstad, L. B., Wennerholm, U. B., Lidegaard, O., Nyboe Andersen, A., Forman, J. L., & Pinborg, A. (2015). Trends in perinatal health after assisted reproduction: A Nordic study from the CoNARTaS group. Human Reproduction, 30, 710–716.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- John XXIII. (1961). Mater et Magistra. Encyclical of Pope John XXIII on Christianity and Social Progress. (May 15, 1961). http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-xxiii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_j-xxiii_enc_15051961_mater.html. Last access on Jan 2015.
- John Paul II. (1983). Discourse to priests participating in a seminar on responsible procreation, 17 September 1983, Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, VI, 2, 562. http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/speeches/1983/september/documents/hf_jp-ii_spe_19830917_procreazione-responsabile_it.html. There is an English translation at: http://www.fiamc.org/texts/christian-vocation-of-spouses-may-demand-even-heroism/ . Last access on 15 Jan 2015.
- Paul VI. (1968). Humanae Vitae. Encyclical Letter of the Supreme Pontiff Paul VI on the Regulation of Birth. http://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae.html. Last access on Jan 2015.
- Pollack, M. J. (2002). Intracytoplasmic sperm injection: A bioethical analysis. The Einstein Quarterly Journal of Biology and Medicine, 19, 13–19.Google Scholar
- 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