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Pre Implantation Genetic Diagnosis And Genetic Enhancement Notes

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Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis and Genetic Enhancement When can PGD be used?

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HEFA 1990 Sch 2 1ZA as amended by HEFA 2008:(1) A licence under paragraph 1 cannot authorise the testing of an embryo, except for one or more of the following purposes---
E+W+S+N.I. o

(a)establishing whether the embryo has a gene, chromosome or mitochondrion abnormality that may affect its capacity to result in a live birth,

o

(b) to establish whether it has a gene, chromosome or mitochondrion abnormalityWhere there is a particular risk that it will have soAND (2) the Authority is satisfied

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(a)in relation to the abnormality of which there is a particular risk, and

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(b)in relation to any other abnormality for which testing is to be authorised under sub-paragraph (1)(b), o

that there is a significant risk that a person with the abnormality will have or develop a serious physical or mental disability, a serious illness or any other serious medical condition.

o

(c) to establish the sex of the embryo?

Where there is a particular risk of

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(i)a gender-related serious physical or mental disability,

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(ii)a gender-related serious illness, or

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(iii)any other gender-related serious medical condition,

(3)For the purposes of sub-paragraph (1)(c), a physical or mental disability, illness or other medical condition is gender-related if the Authority is satisfied that---

o

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(a)it affects only one sex, or

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(b)it affects one sex significantly more than the other.

(d) to create a saviour siblingWhere the sibling suffers from a serious medical condition which could be treated by*

Umbilical cord blood stem cells

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Bone marrow

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Or other tissue

To establish whether the tissue of any resulting child using the gametes of the parents would be compatible with that of the sibling

o

(e)where there is uncertainty about whose gametes were used in the embryo's creation, to find out

Should PGD be permitted?

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To select against disability o

Would seem that if a woman can abort a foetus with a disability, should also be able to select oneBut if couple choose to discard one with cystic fibrosis, then what does this say about society's attitude towards cystic fibrosis?

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Perhaps we're saying that a life with cystic fibrosis is not worth living?

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Asch and Wasserman: Perhaps this reveals something about society which encourages the use of tests for disabilities that is the most concerning.Mahowland: Might be able to both try and ensure that someone with disabilities is not disadvantaged, while seeking to prevent disabilities where possible

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In this sense we dislike the disability characteristic, but not the person with it

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Me: unfortunately, we seem to fall into a fallacy here - b/c the embryo is selected against, they are never born at all - so we are saying their life is not worth living.

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To select for a disability?
o

e.g. the Deaf Lesbians - said child would more easily learn deaf sub-culture and fit in with their lifestyle more if also deaf.

o

Savulescu:*

Have they harmed that child? Is that child worse off than it would otherwise have been (that is, if they had selected a different embryo)?

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No---another (different) child would have existed. The deaf child is harmed by being selected to exist only if his or her life is so bad it is not worth living.

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Deafness is not that bad. Because reproductive choices to have a disabled child do not harm the child, o couples who select disabled rather than non-disabled offspring should be allowed to make those choices, even though they may be having a child with worse life prospects o John Stuart Mills - some people live better lives than others - there are higher pleasures - but people need to be free to experiment to find what works best for them. To select sex?
o This is specifically permitted under Para 1ZA, but only to avoid sex related disorders
? It does not permit selection based on family balancing or to replace a dead child with one of the same sex o Objections
? Demographic impact

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