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 ...