Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis: Testing the Legal Boundaries
GENES, SOCIETY AND THE FUTURE: Vol. I, Part 2, Human Genome Research Project, Dunedin, NZ, 2007
120 Pages Posted: 2 May 2011
Date Written: May 1, 2011
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) constitutes one of the most significant medical innovations of the last two decades in the area of assisted reproductive technology. The information derived from the genetic analysis of cells aspirated from an embryo created by in vitro fertilisation (IVF) may be used for diverse purposes, all of which may influence the decision as to which embryos should be implanted, and which discarded. With the introduction of the Human Assisted Reproductive Technology (HART) Act 2004, the performance of PGD is now subject to legislative and regulatory restraint. The purpose of this report is to consider extensions to the current scope of permissible PGD in New Zealand, and to determine the effect of the HART Act 2004 provisions on decision-making in this area.
In view of developments in science and in other jurisdictions, it is likely that there will be a demand to extend the current ambit of the regulatory framework. Extending, or refusing to extend the current parameters for PGD will require a clear articulation of how the principles declared in the HART Act 2004 which govern decision-making in this area are to be applied.
This report examines the conducting of PGD in areas which would broaden the existing regulatory scheme. In the following section an analysis of the HART Act 2004, and in particular the purposes and principles of the Act, will be undertaken to provide a foundation for the substantive examination of expansions to PGD in the following sections. The expansions discussed in sections 3 and 4 involve human leukocyte antigen (HLA) tissue typing and negative selection of healthy carrier embryos, respectively. In a field of rapid scientific progress, the last section in this report provides an update regarding the most recent development in the field of PGD: preimplantation genetic haplotyping (PGH).
Keywords: Law, Genetics, Ethics, Human Genome, Genes
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