Friday, September 22, 2006

Disturbing genetics story of the day: According to this recent report on the genetic testing practices in US IVF (in vitro fertilization) clinics,
Some prospective parents have sought [preimplantation genetic diagnosis] to select an embryo for the presence of a particular disease or disability, such as deafness, in order that the child would share that characteristic with the parents. Three percent of IVF-PGD clinics report having provided PGD to couples who seek to use PGD in this manner. (Page 5 of the report, page 7 of the PDF file.)
Now I can understand why prospective parents might choose to screen their embryos so that their future child won't have a certain crippling disease. But to deliberately select an embryo so that it will seems incomprehensibly monstrous.

Or as this Slate article puts it,
Old fear: designer babies. New fear: deformer babies.