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Assisted Reproduction

Underestimate A “Petri Dish Baby” At Your Own Peril

I thought I would pass a long an amusing and inspiring story that my daughter shared with me last night. During her religion class in school yesterday, her teacher was lecturing on the immorality of IVF treatment and disparagingly referred to the resulting children as “petri dish babies”. Given that the first baby born as a result of In Vitro Fertilization is now 31 years old, you would think that the teacher might be sensitive to the possibility that a child conceived by IVF might be present in the classroom.

Well, apparently the thought never occurred to this teacher until one of her students raised her hand and proudly declared that she was a “petri dish baby”, ignoring the pejorative connotation attached to the teacher’s description. The religion teacher, apparently nonplussed by her gaffe, continued on about how God, according to the Bible, never intended for medical technologies to be used to create human life. To which this young student bravely addressed her classmates and teacher and pointed out how God never intended for cancer patients to receive chemotherapy either and asked the teacher if she opposed cancer treatment because it is not mentioned in the Bible.

While the teacher feebly offered some distinction between receiving medical treatment for cancer and that of infertility, this young lady earned the respect of her entire class. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to do what she did and one can only be inspired by that kind of strength and self-esteem. It also speaks volumes about how far we have come as a society where young people are unashamed to disclose their birth origins. If only organized religions could be as tolerant and open-minded about reproductive technologies as was this class of students.


2 comments for “Underestimate A “Petri Dish Baby” At Your Own Peril”

  • Brava to your daughter’s classmate. My son goes to a private Catholic school and if a teacher of his (conceived naturally) or my daughter’s (conceived via donor egg) EVER said something like this in their classroom I would hope 1) they would also stand up for Petri Dish Babies; and 2) the school would terminate her immediately once I filed a complaint.

  • Windy

    I would hope further that idiot christians stop being idiots.

    I say that as an idiot christian, so mind the irony.

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