Home » Letters » Are These IVF Choices Killing?

Question: During the process of IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation, for ‘test tube babies’), ‘extra’ embryos (fertilised eggs) are [1] donated to other potential mothers, [2] donated for research, [3] kept frozen indefinitely or [4] destroyed. Is any of these equivalent to killing, according to the Buddhist teachings?

Answer: As an egg being successfully fertilised is exactly when consciousness of a sentient being enters meeting of the duo, if choice [2] leads to destruction, as [4] does, these two are forms of killing. Below are some Buddhist ways to conceive ethically.

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