Papal Ban Unlikely to Slow IVF Work

LONDON—Researchers around the world foresee few practical repercussions from last month's Papal instruction that bans in vitro fertilization and other procreative procedures not involving sexual intercourse. An informal worldwide survey by The Scientist found some concern that politicians might seek to obey the Vatican's injunction to embody the new Catholic doctrine in civil law, but most political commentators consider this very unlikely.

April 6, 1987

LONDON—Researchers around the world foresee few practical repercussions from last month's Papal instruction that bans in vitro fertilization and other procreative procedures not involving sexual intercourse. An informal worldwide survey by The Scientist found some concern that politicians might seek to obey the Vatican's injunction to embody the new Catholic doctrine in civil law, but most political commentators consider this very unlikely.

In Ireland, Tony Walsh, who runs the IVF and GIFT (gamete intrafallopian transfer) program at Clane Hospital in County Kildare, said he did not believe the Papal document would affect the people in this most staunchly Roman Catholic country who seek these techniques as a means of overcoming infertility. Nor would the Vatican instruction affect his own program, which has handled 20 cases since IVF was first permitted by the Medical Research Council at the end of 1985.

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