Mind the Gap
Christian Faith in Decisions about Fertility Treatments
Infertility is an increasingly common health concern that affects at least one in six couples trying to conceive. This interdisciplinary qualitative research and bioethics project at The King’s University explores the role that faith plays in the decision-making process for Christian couples experiencing infertility, especially in relation to using assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) such as in vitro fertilization. Our research shows that there is a “disconnect” (gap) between the academic bioethical discussions, denominational statements, and couples’ personal decision-making about ARTs. A thorough website search confirmed that online resources available are primarily fertility clinic websites, general support websites and alterative treatment websites, and that Christian resources are both sparse and difficult to access. A survey of nine clergy from different denominations in Edmonton also confirmed that couples do not seek their support and that clergy feel ill-equipped to address this issue. To make current resources more accessible for couples and to encourage dialogue between different areas of infertility support, a website has been launched to help address the gap many couples experience.