Fertility treatments for Jehovah’s Witnesses
Infertility is a disease that affects more and more couples every day around the world and Jehovah’s Witnesses are no exception.
At Instituto Bernabeu, we scrupulously respect the different religious beliefs and personalize the treatments and assisted reproduction techniques accordingly. This is why we have also developed a specific program for the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
We are conscious that the use of blood or derivatives is strictly prohibited and therefore, we would like to confirm that none of these products is used in the treatments we carry out at Instituto Bernabeu.
From the perspective of reproductive medicine, fertility treatments have been evaluated by Jehovah’s Witnesses and two aspects, that would be conflicting, have been highlighted:
The destruction of surplus embryos generated in the treatments and the sperm donation.
Generating only the necessary embryos
The first aspect of destruction of surplus embryos compromises the Bible’s view as it goes against the concept of life beginning at the time of fertilization. Therefore, the destruction of an embryo is considered an abortion and is prohibited.
This issue is easily solved by only generating, during the IVF process, those embryos that the couple agrees on.
Solutions that allow the exclusive use of paternal sperm
Secondly, sperm donation is not allowed because a man’s sperm should not be used to inseminate a woman other than his own wife. Currently, thanks to the advances in andrology, the vast majority of male fertility problems can be treated without the need for sperm donation, which allows for paternity according to the norms of the Doctrine.
Masturbation to obtain the sperm sample is not accepted by all patients, but we have other alternatives to obtain it, such as sexual intercourse with a perforated condom and free of spermicides. Another possibility is the aspiration of sperm directly from the testicle, without the need for surgical intervention.
For all the above reasons it is clear that a Jehovah’s Witness couple can have children without inflicting their Commandments.
Rafael Bernabeu. Medical Director of Instituto Bernabeu.