Embryo Selection in the Context of In Vitro Fertilization

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Response or Comment

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From the Catholic perspective, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is morally problematic because it artificially separates the procreative and unitive aspects of the conjugal act. Embryo selection (ES) in the context of IVF is an injustice against the resulting embryos because it treats them as commodities and works against their right to life by determining their implantation potential in light of their features. The Church opposes the eugenics mentality underlying ES. Meanwhile, the IVF industry increasingly uses artificial intelligence (AI) for ES. However, doing so could worsen the injustice by deepening the disrespect of human lives under the technocratic paradigm. As such, Catholic bioethicists are encouraged to advocate for the Church's teachings with renewed vigor. In this commentary, we will examine (1) ES in the context of IVF, (2) using AI for ES, (3) the moral implications of using AI for ES, and (4) points for further consideration.