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The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 15, Issue 4, Winter 2015

Elizabeth Bothamley Rex
Pages 701-722

The Magisterial Liceity of Embryo Transfer
A Response to Charles Robertson

This article offers a detailed response to a recent article in this Journal (Winter 2014) by Charles Robertson titled “A Thomistic Analysis of Embryo Adoption.” A careful review of important terminology that is used in both Donum vitae and Dignitas personae was undertaken, and a summary is included to help define frequently misleading and even mistaken concepts and terms that can often lead to erroneous conclusions. This article focuses on Donum vitae I.3 and n. 2275 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which provide strong magiste­rial support for the liceity of embryo transfer and, ultimately, for the morality of embryo adoption as the only moral solution for “orphaned” embryos. The conclusion offers a faithful interpretation and resolution of the difficult passages in Donum vitae I.5 and Dignitas personae n. 19 regarding the magisterial liceity of both embryo transfer and embryo adoption.

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