Friday, March 20, 2009
discoveries in the world of reproductive medicine allow prospective
parents to peer into the genetic future of their children from the
earliest moments of life. Armed with this information, parents can
choose whether or not to continue along the procreative path by
selecting or discarding embryos on the basis of their genetic
composition. In making this decision, a parent's view of health and
disability figure prominently, sometimes yielding outcomes that cause a
larger community to rethink the concept of health.
This article explores the use of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to detect the genetic health of early embryos prior to implantation. Genetic selection for medical reasons is explored from three rationales: 1) to ensure the health of the embryo, 2) to ensure the health of an existing person, and 3) to ensure the continuity of a genetic trait within the family structure. Ultimately, a matrix is suggested for policy-makers to utilize in reflecting on legal strcutures to govern the use of PGD and other advancing reproductive technologies.