Britain's New Preimplantation Tissue-Typing Policy: An Ethical Defence

Journal of Medical Ethics, Vol. 32, p. 278, 2006

5 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2013

See all articles by Natalie Ram

Natalie Ram

University of Maryland Carey School of Law

Abstract

In July 2004, Britain’s regulatory agency for reproductive technologies reversed a controversial section of its policy on preimplantation genetic diagnosis ("PGD") for tissue typing. Under the new policy, PGD may be performed where tissue typing is the sole purpose of testing. PGD involves embryo biopsy followed by genetic testing for a particular trait. Previously, PGD was available in the United Kingdom only for disease testing, and tissue-typing PGD was permissible only in conjunction with a disease test. Despite its critics, the change in policy is a change for the better and worth emulating in other jurisdictions. The ethical arguments proffered against PGD for tissue typing only — including claims about the potential harms of tissue typing PGD to the future child and its family, and the potential harms to society at large should tissue typing PGD become widely practiced — do not provide persuasive reason to prohibit it.

Keywords: bioethics, law, DNA, preimplantation genetic diagnosis, PGD

JEL Classification: K23, I1

Suggested Citation

Ram, Natalie, Britain's New Preimplantation Tissue-Typing Policy: An Ethical Defence. Journal of Medical Ethics, Vol. 32, p. 278, 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2298298

Natalie Ram (Contact Author)

University of Maryland Carey School of Law ( email )

500 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201-1786
United States

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