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Embryo Screening. The embryo screening, also referred as PGD (preimplantation genetic diagnosis), is a procedure tested on an embryo to identify any unwanted diseases that is found in the genes of the embryo.

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Introduction

Embryo Screening Settling down and starting a family is what many couples have in mind. It's a life changing decision the many indivisual choose to endure, however, obstacles and complications have delayed couples from fulfilling their goal. Leaving the chances of pregnancy aside, couples try to prevent many issues that occur with their newborns - infectious and complicated diseases, deformities and abnormalities. In many cultures and races, it is customary, or even the norm, to marry close relatives. This scientifically has been proven to increase the chances of having your offspring inherit the diseases that have been in the past generations, such as diabetes, cancer, anemia and leukemia. [8] One type of solution that has been discovered is embryo screening and human genetic engineering. The embryo screening, also referred as PGD (preimplantation genetic diagnosis), is a procedure tested on an embryo to identify any unwanted diseases that is found in the genes of the embryo. This then enables the couples to be aware of the problems that they might be facing if they do get pregnant, and leaving their embryo untouched. After enlightening couples about the genetic diseases found in the genes, they have to whether to go through the PGD and modify the genes to contract the ones that contain the genetic information about the disease, abnormality, or deformity. ...read more.

Middle

This state can actually cause a lot of psychological effects and leave a huge impact on the family, so avoiding such a thing by going through the PGD process is a beneficial solution. The PGD procedure is approximately 96-98% accurate [1]. It is extremely accurate today because for verification, multiple DNA sequences near the defective gene can be tested for, as well as the mutation itself. PGD is also very accurate for repeated miscarriages caused by chromosomal translocations for which about 1.5% of infertile couples are carriers. [5] Regardless of the benefits and advantages of the technology and science used behind the preimplantation genetic diagnosis procedure, it does not mean it is faultless. First of all, due to it being relatively recent, it is still considered technologically experimental [1]. People cannot entirely depend on technology for solutions to the problem. Regarding this reality, leads to the fact that many health centers and hospitals do not provide this procedure, as they do not yet have the machinery and equipment. This directly means that since it is not widely used yet, therefore it is quite costly. [1] In the US, it costs between $2,000 to $4,500. [9] Many countries do not provide, therefore couples around the world may travel all the way to America to go through the process, which increases the costs of everything even more. ...read more.

Conclusion

Many ethical issues and conflicts will rise up. If this trend does continue in the future, it will psychologically and emotional affect the poor who have a family containing infectious and complicated diseases, deformities or abnormalities. At the rate that technology is transforming, PGD has a chance of being used more around the world, which directly means that the costs will be lowered. In the long term, people have said that PGD will be used for the wrong reasons. 'Designer babies' are what they call babies who have gone through the PGD procedure and the genes have been modified for appearance and characteristic reasons [2]. This is taking advantage of the procedure, and using it for reasons other than the purpose it had when it was created. This has raised many concerns within the society as to if this should be continued or not. One way the procedure can be used wrongly is wanted to change all the natural genetic characteristics and creating a baby that looks nothing like the parents. Many believe that children are gifts, and should not be modified. Perfection is not what's important in life; everybody has his or her own opinion of perfection. It is imperfections make everyone unique and different in the world. ...read more.

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5 star(s)

This very well written piece covers all the main ethical issues associated with embryo screening. A little more information about the techniques involved in the screening process might usefully have been included.

Marked by teacher Adam Roberts 16/02/2013

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