Case study - genetic screening

In 2000 a Scottish couple were involved in a fight to be able to choose the sex of their baby through IVF. Their only daughter, Nicole, had died in a bonfire accident the year before. They wanted to use Pre-Implantation Genetic Screening to ensure that their next child was a girl.

Using Pre-Implantation Genetic Screening to choose the gender of a child is illegal in the UK. The only exceptions are when there is medical need for this to happen. The couple in this news article sought a change to the guidelines to allow them to do this.

For reflection and discussion

  • What would Buddhists say about using Pre-Implantation Genetic Screening to choose the gender of a child?
  • Would Buddhists have a different view if the Pre-Implantation Genetic Screening were being used to choose the gender for medical reasons?
  • Is choosing the gender of child different to screening the embryos for health reasons?
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