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PGD and Embryo Selection

Report from an International Conference on Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis and Embryo Selection

image of PGD and Embryo Selection

The prenatal screening technologies are there and will be refined and used. However, prospective parents should be given a broad picture, including information from families with similarly impaired children and from disabled adults, and then be supported in their own choice. Different parents will then make different choices. Dóra S. Bjarnason, in ”Is life worth living if you have a disability?” ”The best way to have talented children is still to choose a talented spouse. Parents usually only wish that their children are healthy. And if they are not, they accept them anyway.” Outi Hovatta, in ”The new reproductive biology medical and technical possibilities vs. ethical and legal concerns” ”In the future, stem cell lines may be created from an HLA-identical embryo as identified by PGD. This would be an alternative for parents with a sick child without taking any risks associated with the creative of a potential donor child, and it may work much faster and thus increase the chance of benefit to the sick child” Gisela Dahlquist, in ”The child’s perspective and the parents’ who should decide?” ”There seems to be a common perception about which foetal or embryo condition could justify selection. The regulation will point at severe disorders, however, without indicating specifically which disorders could be considered sufficiently severe.” Mette Hartlev, in ”Legislation and regulations in the Nordic countries. Is there a Nordic dimension?” ”Personally I hold the view that well-founded doubt about the rightness of our moral deliberations, practices and visions is always better than unjustified confidence and conviction, even when we strive to decipher the moral status of unborn babies and supernumerary fertilised eggs. Consequently, I feel it is justified to remain in doubt about the exact nature of their moral status.” Jan Helge Solbakk, in ”On the moral status of unborn babies and supernumerary fertilised eggs” ”In developing countries, particularly in an Islamic context where there is a high premium placed on couples having at least one male offspring, the availability of pgd for non-medical reasons does have a positive effect.” Zaid Kilani, in ”Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis for Elective Sex Selection: Individual Needs in Developing Countries, Financial, Social, Cultural and Religious Aspects”

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On the moral status of unborn babies and supernumerary fertilised eggs

This paper contains four preliminary claims questioning the legitimacy of posing old questions in order to answer new problems. Furthermore, it contains an account of a 'conceptionalist' view of the moral status of unborn babies and supernumerary fertilised eggs, held by two Norwegian scholars, as well as a discussion of problems involved in such a view. The discussion is organised around six different scenarios; two scenarios formulated by the well-known English bioethicist John Harris and four scenarios formulated by a young Norwegian philosopher, Anne Maria Skrikerud. The third part of the paper directs attention to possible trait-oriented (additional) conditions for ascribing a being with moral status, and to problems involved in such an approach. This part is followed by a brief presentation of end-oriented (additional) conditions for ascribing someone with moral status, pro posed by two Norwegian bioethicists, Berge Solberg and Bjørn Myskja. Finally, the question, 'What does it imply to treat a fertilised egg, embryo or foetus in a dignified way?' is briefly addressed. Also in these parts of the paper I rely heavily on views put forward by other scholars. Only in the selection and sifting of views and arguments can I claim originality. I have tried to keep as close as possible to the structure of my original presentation.

English

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