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Pure Selection: The Ethics Of Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis And Choosing Children Without Abortion
  1. Lynn Gillam
  1. University of Melbourne and Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

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    Christian Munthe, Göteborg, Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis, 1999, 310 pages, 180 Kroner.

    This book investigates the issue of “pure selection”–that is, choosing the genetic characteristics of one's children, without using abortion as the method to achieve this. Pure selection is made possible by the relatively new technology of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), in conjunction with now-routine IVF procedures for creating embryos. In PGD, a cell or cells can be extracted from an early embryo, and be subjected to genetic diagnosis of whatever kind, without damaging the embryo. So embryos with the genetic make up favoured by the parents-to-be can be identified and transferred to the uterus, whilst those with non-favoured genetic make up can be discarded. Hence choice about the genetic characteristics of children is achieved without recourse to invasive procedures for prenatal diagnosis, and without termination of pregnancy, which is not only physically invasive, but also ethically controversial.

    The author firstly presents a case study of the events involved in the …

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