Abstract

IVF/PGS procedures require that all embryos produced for potential implantation be screened for genetic abnormalities: only embryos free of genetic defects may be implanted or cryogenically preserved for future implantation. In this paper, I argue that the standard practice of the reproductive technology clinic (RTC), according to which all abnormal embryos must be discarded, unjustly imposes certain biases and discriminatory social values upon persons for whom it may not be a significant concern that their offspring would be disabled. The "standard" practice both reflects a bias against disability and imposes this bias upon those who seek reproductive assistance from RTCs. I argue, therefore, that insofar as consenting to the destruction of any abnormal embryos as a condition of IVF treatment, RTCs threaten the autonomy of women (or parents) seeking medical assistance to overcome infertility. Finally, I examine recent empirical findings which suggest that genetic screening and destruction of abnormal embryos does not actually aid the overall objective of IVF, which is live birth, and may actually hinder it.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1937-4577
Print ISSN
1937-4585
Pages
pp. 90-108
Launched on MUSE
2010-10-23
Open Access
No
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