The Vatican has released a new, authoritative document on the ethics of in vitro fertilization techniques, stem cell research, genetic engineering, and related subjects. For background and the controversy it is stirring up, read this.
We non-Catholics tend to not care about pronouncements from the Vatican, but this is one we could find useful. Interestingly, Roman Catholic ethics these days is based not on supernatural revelations from the papal authority but on reason and the natural law.
This document works from the two moral principles that human life begins at conception and that procreation should only take place within marriage. It then studies which fertility-treatment procedures, for example, are in accord with those moral truths and which are not.
Those who struggle with these issues, especially pastors of any tradition who may have to counsel people confused about such things , would benefit from reading this document, which is entitled Dignitas Personae; that is, “The Dignity of the Person” (click the link for the full document).,