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Bioethics. 2018 Nov 26. doi: 10.1111/bioe.12534. [Epub ahead of print]

Refining the ethics of preimplantation genetic diagnosis: A plea for contextualized proportionality.

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Health, Ethics and Society, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands; GROW School for Oncology & Developmental Biology; CAPHRI School for Public Health & Primary Care, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands.


Many European countries uphold a 'high risk of a serious condition' requirement for limiting the scope of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). This 'front door' rule should be loosened to account for forms of PGD with a divergent proportionality. This applies to both 'added PGD' (aPGD), as an add-on to in vitro fertilization (IVF), and 'combination PGD' (cPGD), for a secondary disorder in addition to the one for which the applicants have an accepted PGD indication. Thus loosening up at the front has implications at the back of PGD treatment, where a further PGD rule says that 'affected embryos' (in the sense of embryos with the targeted mutation or abnormality) should not be transferred to the womb. This 'back door' rule should be loosened to allow for transferring 'last chance' affected embryos in aPGD and cPGD cases, provided this does not entail a high risk that the child will have a seriously diminished quality of life.


embryo transfer; ethics; indications; preimplantation genetic diagnosis; proportionality; welfare of the child


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