Preimplantation genetic diagnosis
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) is a procedure allowing embryos created through in vitro fertilization to be tested for the presence or absence of particular genes, so that embryos with preferred genes can be used to initiate a pregnancy. PGD was developed to allow couples at risk of passing on a serious genetic disease to have children free of the disease. Since its introduction in 1990, it has been most widely used to prevent the birth of children with conditions such as Down's syndrome, Tay-Sachs disease, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell, and Huntington's chorea.
However, PGD can be used to select for non-disease, or “social,” conditions as well. Some people have chosen the sex of their child through use of PGD. It is currently difficult to apply PGD to most traits which depend on more that one gene or chromosome, but new technologies could make this easier.
Some countries prohibit all use of PGD. Others allow it but restrict it to non-social conditions. Many countries have no national-level laws or policies addressing PGD, and in some of these PGD is available for non-social use, most typically for sex-selection.
Table: National policies
The Table shows policies currently in effect regarding the use of preimplantation genetic diagnosis.
- PROHIBITED: This practice is prohibited by national law or policies having the force of law.
- allowed: This practice is allowed by national law or policies having the force of law, but social uses are not prohibited.
- social uses prohibited: Social (or nonmedical) use of this practice is prohibited by national law or policies having the force of law.
- no policy: This practice is not addressed by national law or policies having the force of law.
- ?: It is unknown whether this practice is addressed by national law or policies having the force of law.
Note: The categories defined in the key and used in the table characterize the polices in any given country in a broad manner. Consult the page for each country for more detailed accounts of current policies.
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