A.R.T. & JEWISH LAW

The various forms of treatment required and available, present different Halachic (legal) challenges from a Torah perspective. Perhaps the most fundamental, and one which informs all forms of fertility treatment, is the requirement to know with absolute certainty that the genetic material being used for the couple is theirs, and that their genetic material is not used for other couples.

Though clinics have their own protocols in place to prevent accidental mix-up, Halacha demands external oversight and confirmation of the same. As such, the entire process of fertility treatment requires a mashgiach/a present at all stages of genetic material manipulation. When the couple’s genetic material is not being tended to, special storage and sealing processes are employed to ensure it is not accessed in the absence of the Mashgiach/a.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Though the integrity of clinics is not being questioned, and indeed rigorous policies are in place to avoid accidental use of someone else’s genetic material, Halacha still requires outside confirmation. Indeed, were the integrity of a clinic to be in question, Halachic supervision would not be granted to such a clinic. The requirement for supervision should therefore not be seen as impugning the integrity of a particular clinic.

Click here to contact one of our Rabbinic Advisors for further information or to arrange a telephonic consultation.

 

IVF

Where artificial insemination is inadequate to resolve the problem, the medical experts may advise on attempting In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF). In this instance, both male and female genetic material is removed from both the husband and the wife. The sperm and the egg are then placed in a petri dish, allowing the sperm to fertilise the eggs. The embryos are then allowed to develop over the course of a few days, with intermittent inspections to assess their development throughout.

This process requires more intensive oversight than with regard to AI. The retrieval of the eggs from the female must be done with a Mashgicha present (either in the theatre or the immediately adjacent lab, depending on the clinic’s setup). As with AI, the male sample preparation must also be done under constant supervision. Moreover, over the course of a number of days, the embryos will be sighted to assess their development. This too requires a Mashgiach/a present whenever the embryos are being removed from the incubator.

The Mashgicha is also present when the embryos are loaded into the catheter for transfer and ensures that the embryos have been released into the uterus by checking that the catheter has been emptied, when it returns to the lab.

 

ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION

Halacha generally prefers to endeavour to employ the least halachically challenging process available. In the case of ART, this refers to artificial insemination. Though not always an effective solution, depending on the nature of the medical condition, AI should not be disregarded.

In the event where both medical and Halachic opinion views AI as a possible solution, supervision is required throughout the process of preparation of the male sample for insemination. As mentioned, this requires supervision as well. Our organisation provides supervision at clinics around the world. Please choose your location to see the nearest clinic with our supervision.

One of the Halachic hurdles to overcome, is the manner of procuring the sample from the husband. The regular method advocated by the clinics, is fraught with Halachic complications and concerns. Our team are ready to advise and to guide as to the appropriate method to employ in the production of the sample.

 

Click here to contact one of our Rabbinic Advisors for further information or to arrange a telephonic consultation.

 
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