Doctrinal Note On The Moral Limits To Technological Manipulation Of The Human Body

From the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Issued this week.

Regarding treatments for what is termed ‘gender dysphoria‘ or ‘gender incongruence.’”

“These interventions involve the use of surgical or chemical techniques that aim to exchange the sex characteristics of a patient’s body for those of the opposite sex or for simulations thereof,” they wrote. “In the case of children, the exchange of sex characteristics is prepared by the administration of chemical puberty blockers, which arrest the natural course of puberty and prevent the development of some sex characteristics in the first place.”

The bishops explained that these interventions ARE NOT morally justified. The two situations where it’s okay to use technology on the human body is:

1) to fix something that’s not working right, or
2) to sacrifice a part of the body for the benefit of the whole body.

“Instead … these interventions are intended to transform the body so as to make it take on as much as possible the form of the opposite sex, contrary to the natural form of the body,” the bishops said. “They are attempts to alter the fundamental order and finality of the body and to replace it with something else.”

“Such interventions, thus, do not respect the fundamental order of the human person as an intrinsic unity of body and soul, with a body that is sexually differentiated….Bodiliness is a fundamental aspect of human existence, and so is the sexual differentiation of the body.”

Also they offered guidance for Catholic health care.

“Catholic health care services must not perform interventions, whether surgical or chemical, that aim to transform the sexual characteristics of a human body into those of the opposite sex or take part in the development of such procedure,” they said. “They must employ all appropriate resources to mitigate the suffering of those who struggle with gender incongruence, but the means used must respect the fundamental order of the human body.”

“Only by using morally appropriate means do healthcare providers show full respect for the dignity of each human person.”

Source: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops


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