Use of preimplantation genetic diagnosis for serious adult onset conditions a committee opinion

This document discusses the ethical considerations of performing preimplantation genetic diagnosis to deselect embryos for transfer in order to prevent future adult onset conditions in the offspring.

Ethics Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Volume 100, Issue 1, Pages 54-57, July 2013


PGD for adult-onset conditions is ethically justified when the condition is serious and no safe, effective interventions are available. It is ethically allowed for conditions of lesser severity or penetrance. The Committee strongly recommends that an experienced genetic counselor play a major role in counseling patients considering such procedures.

  • This reminds me of a movie from 1997: GATTACA.

    All joking aside, this is a timely and excellent review of a ethically challenging area. As the costs of IVF/ICSI and ART rise up, more couples are attempting to find ways to protect their “investments.” A clinic does not go by where a couple with male factor oligo/azoospermia bring up the topic of PGD to ensure that they will have a “normal, healthy baby.” Although that is the hope of all parents and clinicians, this Ethics committee opinion outlines the limitations of PGD and the many unknowns. Patient education is key in this area along with the consultation of a geneticist.

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