For a study, researchers sought to provide a reference manual for 6 of the main U.S faiths that reproductive health experts might utilize to deliver patient-centered care to a patient population with a variety of cultural backgrounds.
They looked at perspectives on the use of in vitro fertilization (IVF), intrauterine insemination (IUI), sterilization procedures like vasectomy and tubal ligation, and surrogacy for 6 major U.S. religions: Catholicism, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, and Islam. They used primary source reviews of various religious texts and verified electronic databases. To guarantee the accuracy, each declaration of religious belief was either directly collected from original source texts or cross-referenced across several secondary sources. For therapeutic use, perspectives were collated into a table and reference sheet.
The majority of faiths have specific teachings regarding vasectomy and assisted reproduction. There were exceptions for most faiths. However, the Catholic Church was mostly against IVF and IUI, the LDS Church, the Catholic Church, and Islam were all against surrogacy, and the Catholic Church, LDS Church, Judaism, and Islam were all against vasectomy. With the exception of Judaism, where sterilizing a woman was not specifically addressed in the old testament, even though vasectomy is seen as a breach of the Torah, tubal ligation is prohibited by these religions as well. According to the faith’s beliefs, permanent female sterilization was prohibited by rabbinic decisions. Buddhism and Hinduism were the two religions with the least restrictive guidelines for reproduction and permanent contraception, and they both had no objections to IVF, IUI, surrogacy, or permanent sterilization.
Patients’ perspectives about using ART, permanent sterilization, and surrogacy sometimes depended heavily on their religious beliefs. The reproductive health professional must be familiar with religious ideas and beliefs to give their patients the right advice.