Developments in genetics and in other technologies mean that embryos created through IVF can be tested for an increasing range of genetic disorders. Genetic testing of embryos created naturally is also increasing. Should parents be able to choose the genetic make-up of their baby for any reason or only when a serious disease is likely? What are the implications for disabled people?
The UK allows the creation of cloned human embryos for research into disease treatments but not to clone a person. Will it be possible to prevent human cloning if research continues, does the potential for cures for diseases warrant the risk, and will we need to create a market in women's eggs to meet the demand that may be created for cloned embryos?
Should young people have their genes screened before they have children? In 2011, the Human Genetics Commission published a report advocating the introduction of pre-conception genetic screening in the UK. Read the Telegraph report and GeneWatch's response.
- Press articles
- The Guardian: Major report prepares ground for genetic modification of human embryos (14th February 2017)
- NPR: Unexpected Risks Found In Editing Genes To Prevent Inherited Disorders (1st January 2017)
- NPR: Breaking Taboo, Swedish Scientist Seeks To Edit DNA Of Healthy Human Embryos (22nd September 2016)
- The Telegraph: Humans will be 'irrevocably altered' by genetic editing, warn scientists ahead of summit (30th November 2015)
- The Guardian: GM embryos: time for ethics debate, say scientists (1st September 2015)
- Biopolitical Times: Geron quits the stem cell industry (16th November 2011)
- The Telegraph: Test children's genes before they have sex (2nd June 2011)
- External links
- National Academies Press: Human Genome Editing: Science, Ethics, and Governance (February 2017)
Human Genetics Commission: Increasing Options, Informing Choice
Report advocating genetic screening of young people before they have children.
- Press Releases
- GeneWatch PR: Pre-conception gene tests can be dangerous and misleading 5th April 2011
- GeneWatch PR: Allowing sex selection leaves door wide open for designer babies. 24th March 2005
- GeneWatch PR: HFEA decision making process on embryo selection "a disgrace in a democratic society". 1st November 2004
- GeneWatch PR: GeneWatch UK calls on HFEA to make decisions on cloning in the open and not behind closed doors 29th September 2004
- Briefing 32: HUMAN CLONING AND STEM CELLS: unravelling the issues 2nd June 2005
- Briefing 17: Genetic Technologies: A Review of Developments in 2001 1st February 2002
- Briefing 13: Genetic Engineering: A Review of Developments in 2000 1st January 2001
- Briefing 9: GM Crops and Food: A Review of Developments in 1999 1st January 2000
- Briefing 5: Genetic Engineering: A Review of Developments in 1998 5th January 1999
- Consultation Responses
- GeneWatch UK submission to the HFEA consultation 'Choices and Boundaries' 7th January 2006
- GeneWatch UK Submission to the HFEA Consultation on Sex Selection. 5th January 2003