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Prenat Diagn. 2002 Dec;22(12):1123-9.

Personal desires of patients and social obligations of geneticists: applying preimplantation genetic diagnosis for non-medical sex selection.

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  • 1Department of Philosophy, Pleinlaan 2, lokaal 5 C 442, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium.


The arguments against the use of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) for non-medical sex selection are analysed. It is concluded that the distinction between medical and non-medical reasons is difficult to maintain, that the disproportionality of means and end is not a decisive counterargument and that the fear of damage to the reputation of PGD does not justify the refusal of controversial applications. Moreover, since non-medical sex selection does not belong to basic health care, it should not be equally accessible to all. The position defended in this article is founded on two basic principles: (1). medical reasons have priority on non-medical reasons, and (2). personal reasons do not qualify for public funding. In order to respect both principles, it is proposed that restrictions should be installed to control the number of requests for social sexing and that a tax should be imposed on these elective services. The tax should compensate the society for the investment it made in the training and education of the physician.

Copyright 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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