LA Catholic Morning Radio Interview Archives
Sexual Orientation Change Efforts; Embryo Exchanges and the Sequelae to IVF
What is SOCE? Father Tad discusses with the hosts how a prevailing liberal mindset proclaims a putative openness to all things, offering few or no objections when it comes to the idea of exposing young people to confusing notions of gender or sexual orientation, but when a person indicates their desire to exit a lifestyle of, say, active homosexuality and live chastely or desires to redirect themselves along a path of heterosexuality, that same liberal mindset will react with indignation and declare the utter unacceptability of being “open” in that way, even going so far as to pass laws to restrict the availability of supportive psychiatric counseling, and calling such counseling fraudulent, for those seeking to move in a new direction in their lives. Sexual orientation change efforts are not some kind of slam dunk, but have been demonstrated to be helpful to a number of individuals, and should be more widely available to those who wish to strike out in a new direction. The success rates of these programs has been studied, and improvements in chastity may be as high as 25%-50% for those voluntarily pursuing them, which after 3-6 years of staying involved with a program can increase further. Those who wish to overcome homosexual tendencies should be able to avail themselves of resources from clinical psychiatrists in order to accomplish that goal, yet the criticism and lack of support that individuals receive as they search out this assistance reveals how far we still have to go in learning to authentically minister to those struggling with same sex attractions.
"Embryo Swaps" and Children as Quantities to be Manipulated. In the second segment of today's show Father addresses the exchange of embryos. What is an embryo swap? When one family is looking, say, for a son, but only has a female embryo in the freezer, and they try to connect with another family that might have a male embryo, for an embryo exchange... They may use objectifying language like "Quality female embryo available," so it can be clearly seen how children are reduced to pawns in the chess game of satisfying parental desires. By doing this it becomes easy to view offspring as commodities and as material that can be bartered or sold. Father discusses the dignity of human life and stresses that no human should ever be made in glassware. Whether it's the manufacturing of human life in the laboratory, or the unconscionable frozen embryo "orphanages" or the embryo swaps, these ballooning problems hearken back to IVF itself, even as no one is willing to speak out against the grave injustices, and next to nothing is available in terms of practically regulating or legally limiting the IVF industry.
Broadcast Date: November 21, 2018
Topics: The Opioid Crisis; Dealing with Addiction
What is the Opioid Crisis? The opioid crisis involves the worldwide phenomenon of addiction to opioids like heroin . In the United States, about 200 million people are addicted to opioids with about 100 people dying daily from overdoses. Individuals often get hooked on these dangerous opioids when they their use as pain killers following surgery. The brain begins to crave the pain killers and over time it becomes harder to reduce dosages. A goal of reaching zero pain may not be realistic, and one may be able to reduce the pain only to a more manageable or tolerable level. The hosts and Father also discuss the example of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux who at her death declined pain killers and offered her excruciating pain up for others.
Looking at Addiction. In the second segment of today's show Father Tad discusses addiction and the opioid crisis. One measure that is being taken to reduce fatalities from overdoses is allowing policemen to carry doses of Narcan in situations of overdosing. One of the greatest challenges of addiction is the apparent inability to return to a position of ordered control over one's own life. For those suffering from an addiction, certain practical considerations can be useful, including organized interventions from family and others around the struggling person, taking steps to eliminate addictive substances in the medicine cabinet, avoiding negativity with those struggling, and supportive patience towards those seeking to wean themselves off painkillers after surgery.
Broadcast Date: October 30, 2018
Topics: Donating Organs; Proper Treatment of the Dead and their Remains
On the Marketing of Organs. Father Tad discusses the selling of human organs like kidneys. Today we are witnessing a phenomenon of individuals dealing in human organs through brokers. These brokers may contact people in impoverished countries who wish to sell their organs, pay them several thousand dollars and arrange to have them flown to a location where their organs can be removed. This practice poses multiple dangers for those selling their organs which may result in problems like poor post-operative care and the sad occurrence of being targeted within their own poor communities for mugging once they have received payment. The practice also leads to viewing organs as a commodity and individuals as an "expendable resource." Father Tad and the hosts also discuss the idea that one day in the future we may be able to grow human organs in animals so there could be a more readily-available supply for those in need of organ transplants.
How Should One Respect the Dead? In the second segment, Father Tad discusses the proper way to show respect for the dead, specifically with respect to cremation. One way we can show our reverence towards the mortal remains of our loved ones may be to keep the body present for the funeral rites, with cremation following afterwards, although cremains can also be present for the funeral rites. Following cremation, one should not mix the ashes of the deceased with the ashes of others, nor store the ashes at home. They should be interred, which, practically speaking, means burying the urn in the family grave or into a mausoleum. Other practices that fail the test of showing respect for the remains of the deceased would include turning our deceased loved ones into articles of jewelry by adding ashes to lockets or the troublesome practice of scattering their ashes.
Broadcast Date: September 25, 2018
Topics: Promethean Medical Temptations; Snapchat Dysmorphia
Should We Pursue Scientific Advancement at All Costs? In the first section of today's interview Father Tad takes a look at the story of Prometheus, the Greek hero attributed with giving fire to mortals, and discusses some parallels with temptations in science and research today. In our desire to see science advance rapidly, we can fail to discern our moral responsibilities with regards to its proper uses, and instead pursue expediency so that like the Prometheus story, we get burned as we seek out god-like powers. If we instead aim to humbly discover and be conformed to God's design for us and for creation, we come to recognize how we are not masters but collaborators as we uncover the remarkable reality that God has already created and set in motion.
Real Life Snapchat Filters. In the second segment of today's interview Father Tad talks about the desire to change one's body so it resembles a permanent snapchat filter. Where is the line separating a "decoration" of the body and bodily mutilations? What about cosmetic plastic surgery versus seeing and accepting the natural beauty in each person?
Broadcast Date: August 29, 2019
Topics: Gene Editing; Children From IVF
A Small Change with a Large Impact. In the first part of today's interview Father Tad looks at the field of gene editing, particularly of human embryos. While positive goals and outcomes may be offered by researchers on behalf of this research, experimenting in this field invariably raises grave moral concerns, most notably the creation and direct exploitation of large numbers of human embryos, as well as the problems of lording over our offspring and deciding ourselves which qualities our children require so as to be considered "desirable" in the slide towards designer babies.
When Kids Find Out About the Test Tubes. In the second section of today's interview Father Tad addresses IVF and other reproductive technologies and the effects they may have on the children born using them. Every child has the right to know the answer to the question "Where am I from?" or "Who is my dad?" even as this is often not the case when the child is born using anonymous sperm donations from a sperm bank. Binge drinking and depression levels have been discovered to be elevated among those born through various assisted reproductive technologies like IVF, and the hosts and Father Tad discuss the central importance of assuring that each child enters into the world by way of the marital embrace rather than through a laboratory or commercial business venture. While the desire to have children is in itself good and beautiful, using reproductive technologies can lead to mistaken notions that we "own" a child or that we are "entitled" to offspring. Such notions can feed into the the emergence of a subclass, those who enter the world differently from others, potentially engendering new forms of class segregation and discrimination.
Broadcast Date: July 31, 2018
Topics: Medical Marijuana; Too Many Tattoos?
Legalizing Medical Marijuana. In today's interview Father Tad tackles the question of medical marijuana. While it is sometimes presented as if it were a miracle drug that can also increase local tax revenues, it still needs to be approached like any other new pharmaceutical with proper testing and verification of claims. Some of the risks associated with the use of medical marijuana including an increased tolerance to other pain medications in the future and an increase of driving under the influence and increased accident rates, are also discussed.
Taboos on Tattoos. In the second segment Father Tad addresses the proliferation of tattoos in our society. Tattoos raise questions regarding the intention of the one getting them, and the danger of getting a tattoo for the wrong reason, such as the desire for attention. Father also discusses the temptation to get a "religious" tattoo. The hosts and Father Tad also discuss other long term effects of tattoos such as the difficulties involved in their removal, other more intense body mutilations and the gradual degradation and discoloration of the tattoo over time.
Broadcast Date: June 27, 2018
Topics: Fertility Specialists Gone Amok; "Transactional Consent" for Sex
Fertility Specialists as Cowboys in the Wild West of Infertility. The hosts and Father Tad review the not-insignificant number of cases of fertility specialists crossing important moral lines with their patients, from Octomom's doctor, who implanted her with an an absurd number of embryos, to fertility specialists who use their own sperm, without informing their patients, to impregnate them, to others who implant the wrong embryos into mothers. They discuss the inherent reality of exclusivity in marriage, and how that exclusivity is so often ripped awry by the decision to seek out, with the help of specialists, immoral forms of infertility treatment.
Consent Rings Hollow Without Marital Commitment. In the second segment Father Tad discusses how consent for sexual intercourse cannot be reduced to a "transactional" consent, made in the moment, perhaps verified by a cell phone app, as sometimes occurs among millennials. Women seem to be particularly aware of this, that consent should mean something larger, and be part of a broader, permanent commitment like marriage, not merely a togetherness extending merely to the next sunrise.
Broadcast Date: May 29, 2018
Topics: VSED; Frozen Embryos
Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking (VSED). Father Tad addresses the practice of VSED as a form of suicide. He addresses the moral implications of starving oneself with the intention of leading to a quicker death and discusses the circumstances when a feeding tube is warranted.
The Frozen Embryo Crisis. In discussing the problem of supernumerary or excess embryos produced during fertility treatments, Father Tad stresses the need to first "stop the assembly line" as well as various ideas for handling this awkward situation involving millions of abandoned and trapped human beings.
Broadcast Date: April 17, 2018
Topics: Wrongful Birth Lawsuit; Brain Scans
What in the World is a Wrongful Birth Lawsuit? A wrongful birth lawsuit involves suing the doctor or hospital for not telling you if your child has a disability before the child is born, so that an abortion can be performed on the child. Today's show offers an in-depth analysis of what this means and examines the radically unreasonable requirement that the medical profession be pressured to serve as a gatekeeper for the "quality control" of our offspring. The importance of adopting a posture that cherishes each child exactly as he or she comes into the world is also discussed.
How Necessary are Brain Scans? In the second segment of today's show, the importance of brain scans in diagnosing certain focal brain disorders and pathologies is discussed. The hosts and Father Tad also examine some of the questionable claims suggesting that SPECT brain scans, or other scanning technologies like PET and MRI's, can provide diagnostic clarity regarding virtually every disorder of the central nervous system, ranging from schizophrenia to depression.
Broadcast Date: March 27, 2018
Topics: To Be or Not to Be? — Assisted Suicide; HIV and the AIDS Pandemic
The Implications of Physician Assisted Suicide. A discussion of the moral and spiritual implications of suicide. Father Tad discusses the notion emphasized by Shakespeare that suicide may not be the "easy out" that some imagine, but a tragic error with implications and reverberations potentially extending far beyond this side of the grave.
The HIV and AIDS Crisis. Addressing the HIV/AIDS pandemic is an important priority, and the hosts discuss with Father Tad what constitutes a reasonable response to this within our society today. They discuss the use of "pre-exposure prophylaxis" or "PrEP" and certain ethical concerns around the use of the drug regimen known as Truvada. Additionally Father explores some angles and root causes of the AIDS and HIV crisis in our society today.
Broadcast Date: February 28, 2018
Topics: The Pill; Amniocentesis & Prenatal Testing
Not a Magic Cure for Everything: Father Tad tackles the pressing issue of birth control, focusing on the Pill. He discusses the health drawbacks, the social pressures and expectations, as well as the moral issues surrounding the use of the Pill.
Prenatal Testing and the Importance of the Why and the Intention. Father Tad shares with listeners what amniocentesis is and how it can be used for both moral and immoral purposes. He discusses how the information provided by it can be useful and helpful in certain cases, either by providing a diagnosis that will be important to offering a treatment for the child in utero, and/or by helping prepare the parents to more serenely accept and prepare for the gift of new life in their child.
Broadcast Date: January 16, 2018