Trente ans de bébés-éprouvette

MELBOURNE – Louise Brown, la première personne conçue hors d’un corps humain, a eu 30 ans l’année dernière. La naissance d’un “bébé-éprouvette,” expression utilisée par les médias pour qualifier la fécondation in-vitro, fut extrêmement polémique à l’époque. Leon Kass, qui présida par la suite le Conseil de bioéthique du président George W. Bush, avançait que le risque de donner naissance à un enfant anormal était trop grand pour justifier jamais des tentatives de FIV. Certains chefs religieux condamnèrent aussi le recours aux technologies scientifiques modernes en remplacement des rapports sexuels, quand bien même ceux-ci ne pouvaient pas déboucher sur une conception.

Depuis cette période, quelque trois millions de personnes ont été conçues par FIV, permettant à des couples stériles d’avoir enfin l’enfant tant désiré. Le risque de concevoir un enfant anormal par FIV ne s’est pas avéré supérieur à celui encouru par des parents du même âge ayant conçu en ayant des rapports sexuels. Cependant, étant donné que de nombreux praticiens de FIV transfèrent deux ou trois embryons à la fois pour augmenter les chances de réussite, les cas de grossesses multiples, deux bébés ou plus, sont plus courantes et comportent des risques supplémentaires.

L’église catholique na pas renoncé à son opposition à la FIV. Dans la récente instruction Dignitas Personae, la Congrégation pour la doctrine de la foi de l’église s’oppose à la FIV en se basant sur plusieurs points, dont le fait que de nombreux embryons sont créés lors de la procédure mais que peu survivent. Cette issue n’est pourtant pas tellement différente de la conception naturelle, car la majorité des embryons conçus par l’acte sexuel ne parviennent pas non plus à s’implanter sur la paroi utérine, sans que la femme ne se doute jamais qu’elle ait été “enceinte.”

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