Thousands of Frozen Embryos!

by tkari11 on September 17, 2013 - 9:20pm


On October 23th 2010, everybody was amazed by the birth of Celine Dion’s twins after keeping the embryo frozen for 8 years. However, this was not the only case of frozen embryo. This technology keeps on improving and on gaining popularity among infertile couples. For example, it allowed Kelly Burke to give birth to a healthy baby called Liam by using the frozen embryo that was left over by an infertile couple for 19 years.


This subject caught my attention because I thought it was amazing to see that this baby was conceived at the same time that I was. It feels like he is coming back from the past. However, by reading the article “Long-frozen embryo gives joy to adoptive parents” I learned that thousands of unused embryos are kept in freezers and that only 1.5% of them actually take life. This raises an ethical issue: Is it acceptable to discard unused embryo after in vitro fertilization?


I think that unused embryo shouldn’t be discarded in freezer because people should take responsibility of what they create. If the creators of the embryo don’t want to give it to research or to destroy it because they believe it is alive, then they shouldn’t procrastinate about what to do with it. It is even more wrong to believe that what you keep in a freezer is a little baby. Instead, they should create opportunities for people like Mrs. Burke to have kids. The thousands of discarded embryos could make impossible dreams come true for many people. In my opinion, since this new kind of adoption exists, there are no reasons for people to discard their embryo in a freezer for decades.


On the other hand, it must be very difficult to decide what to do with embryos for people who worked so hard on creating them. They might feel as if the frozen embryos are a part of them and they don’t want to kill it, but don’t want to give it away either. Also, since embryos can be kept intact for very long periods of time, it gives people the possibility to postpone the decision. Therefore, keeping the embryo frozen is reassuring because it makes them feel as if it is not completely over and as if the embryo might take life someday, somewhere.


However, the fact that embryo could stay frozen for indefinite period of time made me feel very uncomfortable. If people keep on paying for the embryo to stay intact and don’t take responsibility of them, who knows what will happen with them in the future. What do you think could happen if people from the future found these frozen embryos?



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