Chapter

Saviour Siblings, Designer Babies, and Sex Selection

Ruth Deech and Anna Smajdor

in From IVF to Immortality

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780199219780
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191713002 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199219780.003.0004
Saviour Siblings, Designer Babies, and Sex Selection

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The development of IVF has enabled clinicians to gather facts about an embryo's genetic make-up before it is implanted in the uterus. This in turn enables parents and clinicians to make choices about the characteristics they want to select. This chapter discusses the use of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to identify embryos that will suffer from disease. A case of parents seeking to choose deaf embryos is explored, and the difficulties of establishing reasonable parameters are highlighted. The possibility of choosing trivial characteristics such as hair or eye colour is considered, and the dangers of eugenics are discussed. Case studies involving sex selection, and the selection of an embryo as a tissue match for an existing child are also analysed.

Keywords: pre-implantation genetic diagnosis; eugenics; designer babies; saviour siblings; sex selection

Chapter.  9281 words. 

Subjects: Medical and Healthcare Law

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