New US Bishops Bioethical Statements

Reproductive Technologies and Nutrition and Hydration

BALTIMORE, MD, November 17, 2009 - In addition to the Pastoral Letter on marriage, the Bishops approved an important document on reproductive technologies, “Life-Giving Love in an Age of Technology,” which addresses Catholic teaching on a range of infertility treatments including in vitro fertilization, embryo adoption, sperm and egg donation and surrogacy and offered recommendations for approved therapeutic means that help a couple conceive. The Catholic Key Blog reported that like the recent Vatican document Dignitas Personae, it raised serious moral concerns about "embryo adoption" without definitively ruling it out as a legitimate option for couples.

The bishops also approved revision to the directive dealing with medically assisted nutrition and hydration of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services. The revised directive states more strongly the need to provide food and water even to patients in a persistent vegetative state.

Both of these bioethical statements go far to strengthening Catholic position on the inherent value of each human life from the moment of conception to natural death.

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