The Banking of Sperm and Eggs before Cancer Treatments

Sperm-20051108Both chemotherapy and radiation can affect sexual organs and how they work. The American Cancer Society addresses the potential effects on male fertility this way: “Chemo may lower the number of sperm cells, reduce their ability to move, or cause other changes… Because permanent
sterility (infertility) may occur, it’s important to discuss this issue with your doctor BEFORE you start chemo. You might want to think about banking your sperm for future use.” Various moral concerns arise in the wake of the proposal to freeze reproductive cells like eggs or sperm…

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Father Tad Pacholczyk, Director of Education at the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC), is the author of a column called Making Sense of Bioethics that appears in various diocesan newspapers across the United States of America. For an overview of his columns: click here.

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