03 March 2009

Order the appearance of the child

The American IVF clinic offers to choose the sex and appearance of the unborn childThe American clinic of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) offers its clients to choose the gender and appearance of future children.

The selection of embryos with the specified characteristics is carried out using preimplantation genetic diagnostics (PGD), which is used to detect hereditary diseases in the embryo. This practice has caused a lot of ethical controversy.

In the Los Angeles IVF center of The Fertility Institutes, created by IVF pioneer Jeff Steinberg, the first child with the specified characteristics is expected to be born next year. The selection of embryos is carried out by detecting genetic markers of specified traits in the DNA of their cells removed before transfer to the uterus. The technique involves the creation of a large number of embryos, of which only a few satisfying the request are placed in the mother's body for gestation.

The center does not give any firm guarantees – one hundred percent compliance with the necessary parameters of the PGD does not provide. In addition, embryo selection is offered only to couples who have been examined for chromosomal diseases.

Infertility experts from different countries have sharply criticized this practice. In particular, they argue that the method implying the production of a large number of obviously "superfluous" embryos is unethical, that such interference in the natural course of events can lead to a deterioration of the gene pool of humanity as a whole, and also that the use of PGD for such contradictory purposes will negatively affect the attitude to the selection of embryos for the prevention of hereditary diseases.

BBC news: Designer baby row over US clinic

Portal "Eternal youth" www.vechnayamolodost.ru03.03.2009

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