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Church claims IVF 'can cause genetic problems'

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 25.06.2013 10:21
The Polish Episcopate has declared that In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) “can cause undesirable genetic and health-related effects.”

Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz (L), Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz (C) and Bishop Jan Zajac (P) at the Plenary Meeting of the Conference of the Episcopate in Krakow, held from 21-22 June. photo: PAP/Jacek Bednarczyk

The Episcopate's Panel on Bioethics released the written statement in the wake of last weekend's Plenary Meeting of the Conference of the Episcopate in Krakow, which gathered top-ranking clergymen from across the country.

“Research confirms that IVF can cause undesirable genetic and health-related effects in children born through this method,” the statement claims.

“Specialists are able to detect these negative effects,” Father Stanislaw Warzeszak, National Chaplain for Health told Polish Radio.

Last October, Prime Minister Donald Tusk's centre-right government found a loophole in the law that paved the way for state funding of IVF, without having to bring a bill through parliament on the matter.

IVF was classified as an ordinary medical procedure such as a tonsillectomy, and Tusk promised treatment for 15,000 couples over a three-year period.

Previous attempts to change the law through parliament, so that IVF treatment could be financed by the state, failed after the ruling Civic Platform could not come to a united stance on the issue, in a party that includes both social liberals and conservatives.

Last month, head of the Polish Episcopate Archbishop Jozef Michalik has appeared to make a conciliatory statement on the matter, saying that “in the current political situation, it is necessary to look for some form of understanding.” (nh/ph)

tags: Church, IVF
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