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The world today faces diverse evolution that threatens what the community considers to be socially acceptable. In essence, most of things that are happening today were least anticipated in the last few decades. For example, the medical world has evolved the usage of medical technologies. Particularly, the emergence of test-tube babies is a medical breakthrough that has elicited massive debate. While in vitro fertilization technology has revolutionized the field of reproductive medicine, its utility caused a great public controversy. Evidently, the medical breakthrough of test tube babies is truly challenging the ‘frozen limit’ since it disapproves the notion that only God, who is a supreme natural being, has the power to create a human life.
Background of the Technological Innovation
The concept of test tube babies traces its root to the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. According to statistics, around 3 out of 100 women in America are suffering from infertility in their marriages (American Experience 2). In other words, the husband and the wife are unable to conceive a baby naturally from a sexual intercourse. Consequently, there emerged a research in the medical world to aid such couple to give birth to children. In 1978, two scientists, Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards, successfully created the first child from a zygote fertilized outside of the human body (Nargund 359). The reproduction technology, famously termed as in vitro fertilization, was used to create the child.
Henig describes in vitro fertilization as a process whereby an egg of a female and that of a male re manually combined in a laboratory dish and the resultant embryo is transferred to the female’s uterus (15). It is considered the most effective type of assisted reproductive technology that helps families conceive babies. In fact, an estimated number of five million women conceived babies through in vitro fertilization. In the United States, it accounts for slightly more than one percent of births. Moreover, in vitro fertilization gave grounds for hope that even infertile women could be mothers. Louis Brown, the first child born through in vitro fertilization, is currently thirty five years old (Henig 4). The following section explains the ‘frozen limit’.
Explanation of the ‘Frozen Limit’ - God as the Creator
The test tube babies’ technology has pushed the society to the edge of its social acceptability (Henig 2). It has pressed the boundaries of its time, thus, significantly changing people’s view. No wonder that this subject has created a lot of moral debate. First and foremost, since time immemorial, most people believed that only God, who is a supreme natural being, has the power to create the human life. The existence of a man is traced from a religious point of view. Though there are scientists who have also managed to come up with an archeological prove of the existence of a man, this belief is what has been socially acceptable. As a result, the human life is considered sacred. No one is given the ability to create or take away the life of an individual. People who commit a murder usually receive a heavy sentence in a court of law.
This could point to the reason why the emergence of in vitro fertilization teechnology is measured as unnatural and wrong. There are many religious sects that have come up to condemn its existence. They view it as a mode of transiting the work of creation that ought to be done solely by God to a technological process. The arguments still point to the fact that this is one of the technological advancements that have taken man by surprise. In essence, many people viewed test tube babies as a threat to the sanctity of life. They felt it is abusing the knowledge that is rendered to man. Consequently, the supremacy of God seemed to be in question. Many religious sects have also felt that God’s sovereignty is under attack. It has been believed that God creates a human being at his own will and in his own time. However, the medical breakthrough seems to have the ability to bring forth the baby at the parents’ disposal. With the technology, it seems money is the only determinant to having a child. The effect of the technology on the social structure is explained below.
How the Technology Is Destroying the Social Structure
A nuclear family has been highly esteemed as a unit of existence. Most people grow up with a desire to enter the nuclear setup for the purpose of raising their own children. However, with the rise of technology, there have been reservations that it would lead to the extinction of families (Davies et al. 1811). People expect that the marriage setup will be replaced by laboratory breeding that can be carried out at one’s disposal. Consequently, it means anyone anywhere can get children even without getting into the institution of marriage. The next section will elaborate on the various ways in which technology challenges the frozen limit.