A case for government-sponsored monitoring of preimplantation genetic diagnosis in the United States

Title: A case for government-sponsored monitoring of preimplantation genetic diagnosis in the United States
Format: Journal Article
Publication Date: March 2005
Published In: Journal of Public and International Affairs
Description: Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), a modified version of in vitro fertilization in which individual embryos are screened for specific genetic characteristics prior to implantation, provides a powerful way for parents suffering from infertility to increase their chances of having healthy children. In its various forms, PGD allows parents to screen for gender, providing a means for avoiding X-linked diseases, chromosomal abnormalities, such as translocations and aneuploidies, and single-gene disorders. Beyond these standard uses, PGD could potentially be used to select for any genetic trait, and this aspect of the technology has raised concerns that it may be used either intentionally or unintentionally for eugenic purposes. At present, reproductive medicine is only loosely regulated in the United States and new technologies, such as PGD, are almost entirely unregulated. This paper argues that given the lack of consensus regarding the ethical acceptability of PGD and embryo selection techniques, the government has an interest in gathering and reporting data on the use of PGD in the United States. Taking a proactive role now, rather than allowing the use of PGD to continue growing unscrutinized, will give society the chance to make thoughtful and deliberate decisions about its use.
Ivan Allen College Contributors:
Citation: Journal of Public and International Affairs. 16. 26 - 45. ISSN 1070-521X.
Related Departments:
  • School of Public Policy