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genetic screening

Genetic screening, also known as preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), is a newly emerging technology that has brought with it much controversy. PGD involves the in vitro fertilization of an embryo. “The embryos are allowed to develop to a 6 to 10 cell stage, at which point one of the embryonic cells is removed from each embryo and the cellular DNA is analyzed for chromosomal abnormalities or genetic mutations” (Botkin, 1998). In doing this, it can be determined which embryos will be most likely to implant and germinate successfully in the uterus. PGD is a complicated, technologically sophisticated process. It is a union of in vetro fertilization technology and molecular biology (Botkin, 1998). Though it has numerous positive attributes, there are equally as many negative ones. In fact, this issue is one that has recently become the subject of many heated debates. Proponents for the use of PGD assert that this test allows for parents with fertility problems to maximize their opportunity for conception and birth. Their adversaries argue that this process is morally questionable, and though it is seen as safe alternative to abortion couples can experience the same psychological effects as if they were dealing with an actual abortion (Botkin, 1998). Obviously, this is an issue that does not have one distinct answer. Each opposing side has raised some poignant arguments. Those who are in favor of PGD generally use the arguments that it allows for the transmission of human genetic diseases to be reduced (McClure and Tasca, 1998). Before the usage of PGD the only other way to determine the existence of genetic diseases was by the use of prenatal diagnosis in the form of amniocentesis or chronic villus sampling (CVS). Currently, CVS can only be performed in the ninth to eleventh week of pregnancy, and amniocentesis can be performed in fifteenth to eighteenth week (McClure and Tasca, 1998). At this point, the fet...

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genetic screening. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 10:30, June 30, 2015, from