Monday, November 01, 2004


In the first step toward designing your own baby (maybe one day with a little polo pony on the chest) Britain has okayed embryo choice:
PEOPLE with inherited forms of cancer have won the right to select embryos free from genes that might trigger the disease in future generations, The Times has learnt.
Four couples affected by a genetic form of bowel cancer will start the procedure by the end of the year, after the Government’s fertility watchdog allowed a London clinic to screen IVF embryos for the disorder.

One of the patients, a 35-year-old accountant from Bristol, said: “We are overjoyed to have been given this chance, not only to do as much as possible to make sure our children don’t have this gene, but to stop them from passing it on.”

The ruling by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority deepens the controversy over designer babies. It sets a precedent that will allow doctors to “cherry-pick” embryos for a much wider range of traits than at present. Applications to extend the procedure are expected within months.

Such tests can potentially eradicate some disorders, enabling parents to be certain of having healthy children. But critics said that the decision will push Britain farther towards “designer babies” chosen for social reasons.

Of course, this is simply the next step after the widespread acceptance of abortion. I really don't see a happy end for this, certainly not for the embryos that don't measure up.

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