Catholic Reproductive Technology

Dr. Anthony Caruso, Ob-Gyn Our final speaker in 2014 was Dr. Anthony Caruso, Ob-gyn, who gave a rare glimpse into the in-vitro fertilization process and its unintended consequences. As a former practitioner of artificial reproductive technology (ART), who once shared the mindset of those who regard reproduction as an on-demand entitlement rather than as a gift, Dr. Caruso explained that the extremely lucrative medical practice was in a sense a pact with the devil. Noting that ART is covered by insurance in certain states, Dr. Caruso explained how couples often travel to Illinois on a pilgrimage of sorts for treatment in hopes of achieving pregnancy. What people seem to either ignore or not realize are the ethical issues inherent in ART. For example, not only does ART upset the body’s natural balance, but it also inexorably leads to the commoditization of the unborn and women’s bodies, and to a chronic self-centeredness exemplified in the form of abandoned frozen embryos, sex-selection abortions, “reduction,” selling one’s eggs to pay for expenses, freezing eggs from aborted fetuses for later use, and even unsuspecting half siblings getting married. (Recall the movie, Delivery Man, in which Vince Vaughn plays an anonymous sperm donor who later finds that 533 children, conceived from his contributions and living in the same 1 For more information about Corporate Chaplains of America, please visit its website at: area, now want to identify their biological father.) Clearly fascinated with the science behind the various ART methods, Dr. Caruso used charts and graphs to illustrate the complicated and delicate hormonal processes involved in achieving pregnancy and the lengths to which couples will go toward that end. Feeling empathy toward these people, Dr. Caruso initially thought that he was simply using his expertise to bring joy to people who might not otherwise be able to achieve pregnancy, and he undoubtedly did. But he eventually had a kind of epiphany, just as he was poised to become president of a Chicago area reproductive endocrinology organization, realizing that he was undermining God’s plans and actually subverting human dignity. The fruits of his professional courage were that he refused the position and eventually joined Downers Grove Ob/Gyn, where he currently practices with Dr. Robert Lawler, Ob-Gyn.