This article, written by Ronald M Green for Medscape, was emailed to me by our doctor on staff. It’s quite fascinating and may spark some interesting conversation at the dinner table tonight.
Advances in genomic science and reproductive medicine are hastening the day when parents will be able to select or design desired traits for their children. This possibility raises a series of challenging questions: will our ability to choose our children’s biological inheritance deform parenting? Will it diminish children’s freedom by making them creatures of their parents’ whims? Will it widen social divisions, creating a ‘genobility’? Will it recreate the horrors of early twentieth century eugenics? In this perspective article I reply that while these are all important questions, the answers do not necessarily rule out the judicious use of human genetic engineering.
Advances in Reprogenetics
We are rapidly entering the era of ‘reprogenetic’ medicine. This combines new technologies of gene identification and manipulation with assisted reproductive technologies, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD).
In 2006, Britain’s leading genetic regulatory body, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), authorized the use of preimplantation genetic diagnosis and embryo selection to help families with histories of breast cancer avoid passing the risk on to their children. Last year, it permitted the use of PGD to avoid the birth of children with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH). Critics of these decisions see them as steps down the slippery slope to eugenics. They point out that breast cancer is usually a later onset disorder for which treatments to reduce the risks, including new advances in personalized medicine, are available. Heterozygous FH (unlike the homozygous form) is also treatable. The HFEA’s rulings, the critics contend, step across the bright line that separates the use of genetics to prevent serious disease from its use to produce ‘designer babies’.
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Birth Control Buzz is a service company that provides birth control prices, types of birth control (prescription required), health administrative services, and birth control statistics predominantly to US patients seeking to purchase pharmaceuticals on-line.
For more information, call 1-866-868-8850 or visit http://www.birthcontrolbuzz.com/.
Birth Control Buzz is a service company that provides birth control prices, types of birth control(prescription required), health administrative services, and birth control statistics predominantly to US patients seeking to purchase pharmaceuticals on-line. For more information, call 1-866-868-8850 or visit http://www.birthcontrolbuzz.com/.