Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis

Socio-scientific issue - the use of IVF and Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis

In today’s world, our technology is endlessly developing. We are constantly creating more ways to enhance our lives with concepts ranging from aeroplanes to touch screens to artificial insemination and testing. The question is, have we taken it too far?

What is IVF (in-vitro fertilisaiton) and PGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis)?
A major development in our modern technology is the use of IVF and Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis, often known as PGD. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a reproductive technology in which an egg is removed from a woman and joined with a sperm cell from a man in a test tube (in vitro). The cells fuse to form a single cell called
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Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is a screening test used to determine if genetic or chromosomal disorders are present in embryos produced through in vitro fertilization (IVF). Preimplantation genetic diagnosis screens embryos before they are transferred to the uterus so couples can make informed decisions about their next steps in the IVF process. Embryos unaffected by the genetic or chromosomal disorder can be selected for transfer to the uterus.

What are the reasons that might constitute the demand for such technology?
The purpose of PGD is to test for specific genetic disorders in order to avoid them when carrying out IVF. It is used to check for specific disorders before the embryo is implanted back into the mother so that only a normal and healthy child will be born; free from chromosomal issues that could impair his/her life. The demand for PGD has increased over recent years as it has become a serious option for couples with a family history of genetic disorders; a couple who already has an affected child; a couple who wants to increase their chances of having a successful pregnancy; HLA matching using a ‘saviour sibling’ and in small populations where small gene pools can lead to an increased frequency of
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The greatest risk factor for cystic fibrosis is a family history of the disease. The gene that causes cystic fibrosis is recessive and therefore the parent could be carrying one affected gene but not have the disease. However if both parents carry a defective cystic fibrosis gene, each pregnancy has a 25 percent chance of producing a child with cystic fibrosis. If someone has a family history of cystic fibrosis or any other genetic condition (especially if they know they are a carrier of it) this might constitute the demand for pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. By using this technology, the parents can ensure that their child is not going to be affected by the disease. Another reason for the use of PGD is if a couple already have a child who is affected by a genetic disease. If they want to have another child, it poses the risk of them too inheriting the same disorder. PGD can allow them to ensure that their next child does not develop this same disease which can implement a huge cost on the family, be detrimental to their quality of life, and

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