Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis

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Topic 5: Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis can be used to identify and select for or against fetuses with specific genetic traits. Is the use of PGD: - impermissible - permissible only for the prevention of genetic diseases, or - permissible for selection based on disease and non-disease traits? Explain your answer. PHIL380 ESSAY Although new knowledge gives man new powers, it also gives him new problems. Social recognition seems to have to keep up with the advances of science, bringing up dilemmas on the ethical use of scientific knowledge. An example of such a gap between the use of technology and the way how society reacts to it appears in the dilemma of the uses of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). Introduced into clinical care in the early 1990s, PGD has been used extensively since the first birth resulting from in vitro fertilisation (IVF). The technique mainly involves analysis of the embryos created in vitro for well-defined genetic characteristics, usually chromosomal defects that cause serious disease, before only those free of defects are implanted for gestation. PGD was first used to group of people who are at high risk of transmitting debilitating genetic disease genes to their offspring. Subsequently, it has been expanded to enhance the IVF success rate in people who might have low genetic risk but having advanced maternal age, repeated implantation failure, repeated miscarriages and severe male factor infertility (Sermon et al. 2004). Up to now, there are very few policies regarding the limits on genetic tests in PGD, therefore it has been used inconsiderately for both medical and non-medical purposes. Some prospective parents are also requesting PGD to select embryos that possess a desired genetic trait, such as the sex of the unborn child

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