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Letter to the Editor: Proposed Fertility Clinic Raises Ethical Concerns

Naperville Patch welcomes the submission of letters to the editor. Please send letters to Local Editor Mary Ann Lopez at maryl@patch.com.

Dear Editor,

There is currently a proposal to build a fertility clinic on the corner of Washington and Benton in Naperville.  The proposal was recently addressed by the Naperville City Council and will be picked up again in two weeks.  The proposed facility touches close to home for us.  We’ve been trying to conceive for 29 months.  Not long ago, we were told by one specialist that if we ever wanted to become pregnant, we’d have to go the route of in vitro fertilization. We know the pain and heartache that bring people to a fertility clinic like the one being proposed.  We assume that couples going to such a clinic have the best of intentions, and we judge the hearts of no one who has taken this path. 

But we strongly oppose the proposed clinic based on serious ethical concerns.  The proposed facility is not ethically neutral; this is not the same as bringing in a family restaurant, a clothing store, or an optometrist.  This is because some of the procedures associated with the proposed facility promote an understanding of the human person that undermines fundamental human rights and dignity.

The origin of our existence is not a matter of indifference to our dignity and rights.  Rather than assisting the procreation of a child, procedures like in vitro fertilization reduce children to the product of a technological process.    A child becomes a manufactured commodity, produced in a relationship of domination, subject to quality control, manipulation, and even disposal.  The production of this commodity is, of course, a very lucrative industry – after all, for an infertile couple who desires a baby, the supply is low, and the demand very high.  The human person is reduced to an object, a product, and this does violence to the child’s dignity as a human person.

We desperately want a child.  But our desires, even for something so good, do not justify bringing that about by any means whatsoever.  We have no right to a child, since then one person becomes the property of another.  In this instance, it is the rights of the child to be conceived that are pertinent. 

This is not simply a question of zoning and planning.  It is consenting to a particular worldview for the people of Naperville - a worldview in which a child is not procreated, but manufactured.  With any number of beneficial things that could be built on this site, why bring into our community something carrying with it these ethical issues? Why invite into our downtown Aldous Huxley’s vision of a Brave New World in which children are not so much born as they are decanted? 

Mike and Mary Beth Brummond

Naperville, IL

Katie Minott April 03, 2012 at 04:09 PM
I am saddened and frankly shocked that this clinic was not approved because a very small although seemingly vocal minority voiced their concerns. Although Mike and Mary Beth Brummond chose not to conceive children through IVF, which is only one service a fertility clinic provides many families in the area and nationwide have. Doctors are able to work with each family to explore options that will not make the families stray from any moral or ethical value they place on human life. In addition Matt Yonke's idea that somehow our children have been manufactured, I would just like to look at the reality of this technology. It seems as though the inference is that these doctors are in some way bypassing God and "creating" life. If these doctors could guarantee every egg they fertilized with sperm would result in life they would be billionaires. But science only allows for the introduction of the sperm to the egg. Then the waiting game for the doctors and the families begin, will life take hold? Then will it in turn be sustained for 10 months and result in a child? Manufacturing something implies a certain amount of absolute that indeed some product will result from the action. With life this is not the case, even with the assistance of science there are no guarantees. Before objecting to a place of medicine based on moral and ethical principles, make sure you have a clear understanding of the treatment that is actually taking place, not the science fiction version.
John Moreli April 09, 2012 at 05:01 PM
My wife and I are going to the site and sprinkle holy water on the ground until construction starts and hopefully there will be divine intervention!
ProLife February 09, 2013 at 07:36 AM
You are illogical, "If I was not meant to have these beautiful children then God would have made it so that fertility treatment would not have worked for me." According to your logic, "If I was not meant to be a murderer then God would have made it so that the my gun would not shoot properly." IVF process often creates a dozen human embryos & most of them are discarded. This is the destruction of human life that you do not seem to care about as long as you get the kids you want. SELFISH.
ProLife February 09, 2013 at 07:39 AM
Michelle, IVF process often creates a dozen human embryos & most of them are discarded. This is the destruction of human life that you do not seem to care about as long as you get the kids you want. SELFISH.
ProLife February 09, 2013 at 07:41 AM
C Vandevire, Speaking of choice, you are probably also pro-choice. You want to know what choice looks like ? www.abortioninstruments.com http://www.abort73.com/videos/this_is_abortion/

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