Vatican City, Feb 23, 2012 / 12:22 pm America/Denver (CNA).
The Pontifical Academy for Life is hosting a one-day workshop on treating infertility in an ethical way.
Using in vitro fertilization to treat infertility is often unnecessary, as well as immoral, says Fr. Renzo Pegoraro, the chancellor of the Pontifical Academy for Life.
“There is a strong risk” of missing solutions to infertility by treating it with assisted reproductive technology, he told CNA. He believes the IVF approach to infertility is motivated by “the idea that technology can offer a solution without trying to resolve the real problem of infertility.”
The Pontifical Academy for Life began its 18th general assembly on Feb. 23 and will finish on Saturday, Feb. 25 with a papal audience. As a part of its meeting, the academy is hosting a public workshop on Feb. 24 that is dedicated to discussing treatments for infertility.
The workshop will feature 16 experts that come from Brazil, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy and the United States, and will be held in the Vatican’s New Synod Hall.
Fr. Pegoraro, who is both a medical doctor and moral theologian, hopes the discussions will help explain why infertility is on the rise across the world and what ethical solutions are available.
“There are a lot of possibilities at the therapeutic level with medical, hormonal and surgical treatments that are the first line of approach in this field,” he said. He also thinks that trying to discover the underlying reasons for infertility can unlock the problem.
He pointed to developed countries where “lifestyle factors” often play a significant part in causing infertility. These include “the age of childbearing for women, and the problems of smoking, obesity and alcohol use, and probably also a psychological stress in the life of the people.”