12 March 2012
VATICAN CITY- 23-25 February 2012. The 18thGeneral Assembly of The Pontifical Academy for Life, a three day conference attended by 200 medical (alleged) professionals and Church representatives. The theme for this year was the Diagnosis and Treatment of Infertility.
On the agenda; NaProTECHNOLOGY (Natural Procreative Technology), a system proposed by Dr. Thomas Hilgers, which is supposed to assist women with infertility issues to achieve pregnancy more successfully than in-vitro fertilization (IVF). IVF (involving the fertilization of ova outside the woman’s body and the transfer of the resultant zygote to the uterus) assists women with blocked, severely damaged or no fallopian tubes, facilitates the use of a donated ova and can also overcome infertility caused by endometriosis or issues with sperm.
The (alleged) research behind NaPro was done at The Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction, in Omaha, Nebraska, USA. This institute, which provides a service within the “moral framework” of the Catholic Church, was founded in 1985 by Dr. Thomas Hilgers, who is also its Director.
Dr. Thomas Hilgers claims that NaPro’s success rate is two to three times higher than for IVF. If this claim is true NaPro would be a major breakthrough in reproductive health technology and welcomed by doctors and many couples who are unable to conceive naturally. Yet the NaPro website admits there is no peer reviewed medical or academic literature that supports its approach (in the text under a heading misleadingly titled Peer-Reviewed and Academic Literature That Supports NaProTECHNOLOGY).
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