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Polygenic Embryo Screening: Ethical Challenges

May 9 @ 12:00 pm 1:00 pm EDT

Grand Rounds at Alden March Bioethics Institute, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY

Hastings Center President Vardit Ravitsky will discuss the ethical implications of polygenic embryo screening.

Recent advances in genetic screening have made the possibility of choosing our children’s traits ever more possible. Many parents-to-be already screen human embryos derived from in vitro fertilization (IVF) to avoid passing along harmful genetic diseases. However, with the falling cost of genetic sequencing, along with increased understanding of the genetic basis of many characteristics, fertility clinics are starting to offer couples additional technologies. These allow prospective parents to screen embryos before implantation, to see how likely each one is to develop conditions or traits that depend on many genes, such as schizophrenia, Crohn’s disease, and even educational attainment. Some of these applications are very controversial.

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