Artificial Insemination With Donor Essay Philosophy Essay

A childless couple who has been married eight years is presented with a confounding problem which they want to work through with a Christian therapist, who is a well-known member of the local Christian community. The couple is seeking the possibility of received artificial insemination from an anonymous donor (AID) as a means of impregnation due to the husbands sterility from recent cancer-related surgery. Neither spouse wishes to consider adoption, for the wife feels that to be unable to experience pregnancy and childbirth would deprive her of an experience she has looked forward to all of her life. The couple both come from Christian backgrounds-the wife from a Mennonite Brethren family and the husband being from a Southern Baptist family. Furthermore, the couple is active members of a large evangelical church in the Midwest. Through their religiosity, they have sought the help of a Christian therapist, who is well known throughout the local Christian community (delete the other) due to the fact that the couples pastor has insisted despite their beliefs that artificial insemination through a donor would be analogous to adultery. (contribute what the therapist should do).

As an ethicist interpreting whether or not Artificial Insemination with Donor (AID) is based upon a moral-ethical characteristic, one must view AID through a philosophical through process of deontology and utilitarianism. Regarding normative ethics, the three imperative questions from Lebacqz must be addressed when analyzing the moral features and acts of AID in order to determine if AID is morally right or wrong: “Which actions are right? What makes a person ‘good’ or ‘virtuous’? What constitutes the ‘ideal state’ or structure of human society?” Through the analyzing of these three questions, a moral judgment can be articulated in order to address the ethicality and morality of AID. For this essay, I will enumerate the moral-ethical features and acts of AID under the guidance of the principles of Frankena’s conceptual map in order to formulate a moral judgment on whether or not AID is tantamount to adultery in any possible circumstance.

The major concern of the childless couple from their own point of view, especially the mother of the couple regarding the conflict between her desire and the pastor’s scrutiny of AID, falls into the first area of determining whether AID or morally right or wrong. Two different ways to think about this question can be brought up in the region of philosophical ethics. The first way is deontological thinking, which identifies the moral feature so the act of AID itself and analyzes whether the inherent features of AID are morally right or wrong. Secondly, utilitarian thinking reflects on the consequences resulting from the act of AID and then judges the act to see if it leads to a greater proportion of good done rather than harm.

(reverse with previous paragraph)In light of their want to have a communicative process with the therapist gives an in inherent moral feature the couple is trying to pursue. They want to know whether they would be doing the right thing with using AID as a means of contraception. In this case, the specific the moral act of the case is the childless couple wanting the process of AID to occur through the signing of certain documents signaling that release. The act of AID, which involves the insertion of an anonymous donor’s sperm-other than the husband-and playing the sperm in a syringe and squirting the ejaculate towards the uterus of the female at the time of her ovulation is inherent of many controversial moral features.


To identify whether the act of AID is contrary to the will of God or not, astute discretion must reflect the couples discussion in relation to the issue that the minister stated was analogous to adultery. To simply state that AID is morally wrong or right is not enough, but rather both utilitarian and deontological analyzing must take place. The pastor’s statement that AID is tantamount to adultery is incorrect. To say that AID breaches a covenant is unsound in its doctrine; for at a hermeneutical-interpretive standpoint, no individual in the Bible had AID in mind when they condemned adultery. This therefore makes the ministers statement unsound. The pastors view his own hermeneutical interpretation of how adultery should incorporate with the process of AID rather the exegetical depiction that the Bible teaches. The virtue of the couple, along with the pastor associated within this case is relatively different. Although the pastor seems to convey a sense of wisdom and godly steadfastness in giving dialogic counsel to the couple in terms of seeking the process of AID, it practically seems that the pastors deeming of AID as a breach in the covenant of marriage and is therefore unsound due to hermeneutical interpretation from an exegetical foundation. The thought of the pastor seems to convey a sense of Catholic (through the minster is of a different denominational belief) influence upon the guidance of AID; since the updated versioned of the Catholic Catechism of 1985 states that AID is morally wrong due to the introduction of a third party in a dichotomous marital bond.

The childless couple of case must first be properly evaluated in light of their saddening circumstances. The husband of the couple has already had the physical and emotional stress of having cancer within his body, and now due to the sterility caused by the ridding of the cancer, the couple now experiences further grieve. This is indicted by the want of the mother to have children and that not having one “who take away an experience she has looked forward to all of her life.” This is a suffering that, before a case is fully analyzed, must be properly and fully evaluated. On the part of the spouses, the want for a child is natural: it expresses the vocation to fatherhood and motherhood inscribed in conjugal love. However, this desire proves to be evermore stronger when infertility has resulted within the husband. However, through the virtue of love and the want to have a stronger love in each other, the couple wants to determine if the process of AID is morally acceptable in order to promote the life of another person through birth, and thereby fulfilling the desire for the wife of having the experience of childbirth. The fidelity of the spouses in the unity of marriage involves reciprocal respect of wanting to become a moth and father only through each other (delete?). The couple wishes to seek loving fulfillment in each other through having a child, despite the fact that the child created through AID was only related to the mother. The husband wishes to give the virtue of respect by allowing his spouse to have the experience of pregnancy and childbirth. Rather than live unfruitful lives, the couple wishes to have a child in which they wish to express their undying and lasting love for it.

Despite the pastors hermeneutical interpretation that AID constitutes as adultery and therefore is morally wrong, further evidence must be obtained in a deontological bearing, for his exegetical description of what the Bible teaches as adultery is simply erroneous. Therefore, based on this declaration,(name!!!) gives an important interpretation that AID may not constitute as adultery: “AID raises some moral issues not involved with AIH (artificial insemination through husband). Some object that it is “adultery by proxy” since the sperm is not from the husband’s body. However, this objection is a bit-far-fetched, since no sexual act with another man is involved, nor need there be any lust entailed. Others consider the so called “one-flesh” principle to be opposed to AID, but simply because the conception wasn’t born of sexual intercourse; it refers to the intimacy of marriage, not just to sexual intercourse (Gen. 2:24).” In short, whatever social, psychological, and legal arguments can be urged, and these should be considered, there seems to be no moral reason against either AIH or AID from a biblical perspective. Nevertheless, a childless couple may choose to remain that way or to adopt, but there is no moral duty to do so. They may also choose pregnancy of the wife through artificial insemination.

Even though the complex argument about AID constituting as adultery is a fallacious one, in deontological terms, which analyzes the act of AID itself in order to determine if it’s morally right or wrong, the act of AID may be relevant to its moral features. First, if the act of AID was performed without the complete and full send of all three parties involved, it would be morally wrong. AID would be morally wrong if the donor’s sperm was used without his prior consent, a woman should not be impregnated without the donors consent, and the woman should not impregnated unwilling. In philosophical ethics, AID would be morally wrong is all parties were not informed. It is due to this level of human autonomy with regards to medical consent, that AID would only be morally permissible with the consent of all individuals involved, however, in this case all individuals have consented to the medical procedure. Even though AID does not oblige the act of adultery per se, stringent (correct?) observations on the morality of Aid must still be made, for AID with the consent of all three parties involved does not make it morally right. The process of AID must be explored in terms of utilitarian thinking as well as normatively. The moral benefits and costs in this case are clearly stated. In each instance, the cost involved is involved in deontological terms of if AID is tantamount to adultery, and also if wife has a child, the psychological effects on the father and child (think about this moreso). The superseding good achieved with AID is the couple who is not able to have a child no to the husbands sterility is now able to conceive a child that is fully related to the mother at least.

In terms of utilitarian thinking, which measures the good achieved over the consequences realized, must be assessed in order to analyze the moral judgment that AID promotes on the value of human personhood. One risk that might come out of the process of AID is the child who is conceived from the medical process of AID might be either severely deformed, mentally or physically handicapped, or result in a spontaneous abortion. A reality that is present throughout today’s world is the inadequate screening of male sperm donors. As Johnson states: “When males give sperm to sperm banks, their sperm cells might be irreversibly damaged through a list of various activities such as: prolonged or acute exposure to radiation, heavy biking, smoking or even prolonged contact with extreme temperatures above normal body temperature. This is turn can cause the sperm of an individual to have distorted qualities within its chromosomal properties. When frozen sperm is given to a sperm bank, it might inherently possess within it genetically transmitted diseases, especially if the sperm bank itself buys and sells sperms for a lucrative gain. In a medical study from University of Miami of 274 physicians, it was found that the physicians inadequately screen male’s sperm for degenerative factors correct only 47% of the time on average. This study and numerous like it show that proper screening is done incorrectly or by physicians who are not adequately trained for such a procedure. Consequently, one must analyze whether the genetic factors from AID promote the value of basic personhood. Is there a risk due to improper screening that the child conceived might have a congenital disease, or even suffer from malformation of the body? And if deformed, would the couple consider abortion, violating the virtues of love towards a child biologically related to the mother, and human? And what effects might the experience have on the couple’s personhood as a whole?

Another risk in artificial insemination related to the psychologically damaging effects AID might have on the child conceived through AID in relation to personal and social identity. According to Karen Clark and Elizabeth Marquardt, a study of 485 adults ranging from 18 to 45 conceived via sperm donation, mover two-thirds of the individuals conceived through AID felt that their real identity belonged to the father who was “half of them.” Clark also entails that children who have been conceived through AID are missing a sense of relational identity because “they are absent from the father who never was a father, yet misconstrued in their identity of whom they belong to because their faith is someone who biologically is unrelated cares for them. It is an instinct of natrality and curiousness that child conceived though Aid would want to know the identity of their biological father. A survey conducted by the University of Washington details that nearly one-half of children who were conceived through AID felt a sense of betrayal, anger, or sudden mistaken identity. Karen Clark, an author who found out at age 18 that she was “conceived through a vile of sperm” felt a sense of distance and betrayal from her family, since “they never revealed such a detrimental fact to her in her life.” It is due to this that Aid should be considered in context to the child’s value of human personhood, and whether though love you decide to reveal such an important detail to them early is a difficult decision that should be weighed in context of the benefits achieved over the consequences resulted.

Finally, one further risk that must be distinguished when AID is proceeded with is whether the husband will feel a sense of alienation between the wife as well as the child, even to the extent of betrayal due to the wife being impregnated with the sperm of another man. Lammers (2005) indentifies this dilemma as a breakdown point for a couple’s marital unanimity: “It lacks the sexual relationship called for by moral order, namely the relationship which realizes ‘the full sense of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love. Without such, the conjugal act of love is lost due to a third party being unanimously involved and a feeling of alienation towards the husband is created by the bond of his spouses connubial love.” The benefits of AID, therefore, must be analyzed in a utilitarian benefits and consequences by demeaning the humans basic sense of human personhood by introducing a third party into the marital union. One must remember the husband’s virtue of love toward his wife in the admonishing fact that he wants the wife to experience what she has always wanted; that is, an experience of pregnancy that she has been looking forward to all of her life.

To access the normative ethicality of AID, one must analyze, according to Lebacqz, what makes a person ‘good’ or virtuous.” Both spouses lives will become changed in a different way through participating in the process of AID. Will they be honest and truthful about the biological origins of their child? Will they find a sperm bank that can determine the baby’s sex? Will the wife be sure to give love and respect to the father to ensure psychological stability? Will the couple be honest and truthful in their communication and how they relate to each through this process? These questions all report that AID will bring out a series of behaviors and attitudes that will eventually shape their moral character in what they say and do. The process of AID will trigger a series of challenges for the couple to work through and better themselves ethically. In conclusion, AID required authenticity to be judged by in moral terms, and in order to better the couples cohesiveness and unity toward each other. Another area of normative ethical reflection identified by Lebacqz states “what constitutes the ‘ideal state’ or structure of human society.” (name) states that marital unity. In a Christian perspective, provides the environment for a one flesh union, and the moral means for procreation. According to (names view, AID introduces a third party into the conjugal union of marriage and violates the realm of the love and intimacy the couple have for each other. “Artificial insemination gives no context for God’s miraculous work through one’s life. Now anybody, from lesbian couples to single moms can consider having a child, taking all sacredness out of God’s blessing of connubial love and relationships. Ramsey (1970) also correlates this idea of AID taking parenthood out of realm of humanity. Now carbon copying, artificial ovulation, IVF, and surrogacy have been introduced to society to take out the “basic structure of human parenthood as a form of humanity.” Both (name) and Ramsey, through believing that parenthood and love was taken out of the formula through the introduction of AID, believe AID is morally wrong and reprehensible to the people of today’s culture.

AID is an issue that presents moral difficulty for not just this couple but all cases like it. Despite the philosophical thought processes of utilitarian and deontological viewpoints, still many moral uncertainties regarding variables of the issue of AID are present. Would all principle agents (including the donor) be consenting towards the situation? Would each spouse of the family consent towards each other, with all utilitarian and deontological thought being present in their conversations? Would the process of AID be solely for the wife’s benefit or would the father of the couple have equal autonomy? Would AID devalue the feeling of dominance and importance in the father, and therefore, damage marital relations? Would the child conceived from the means of AID want to know who his biological father was? Would this, in turn, damage the father-son relationship with the non-biologically related father and child? As long as the couple remembers both the non-consequentialist and the utilitarian thoughts, along with the benefits and consequences predisposed with AID and a dialogical progression with their therapist, hopefully they can come to a decision that AID will be both beneficial to their marriage and their moral life.


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