Home Health Parents News Now Genetic Testing of Embryos Spurs Ethics Debate Genetic Testing of Embryos Spurs Ethics Debate By Holly Lebowitz Rossi February 03, 2014 Advertisement Save Pin FB More Tweet Email Send Text Message Print The debate over the morality of performing genetic tests on embryos--and deciding not to use those carrying deadly genetic disorders for potential pregnancies--continues, as a New York Times report explains: ....The procedure also raises unsettling ethical questions that trouble advocates for the disabled and have left some doctors struggling with what they should tell their patients. When are prospective parents justified in discarding embryos? Is it acceptable, for example, for diseases like GSS [Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker disease], that develop in adulthood? What if a gene only increases the risk of a disease? And should people be able to use it to pick whether they have a boy or girl? A recent international survey found that 2 percent of more than 27,000 uses of preimplantation diagnosis were made to choose a child's sex. In the United States, there are no regulations that limit the method's use. The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, whose members provide preimplantation diagnosis, says it is "ethically justified" to prevent serious adult diseases for which "no safe, effective interventions are available." The method is "ethically allowed" for conditions "of lesser severity" or for which the gene increases risk but does not guarantee a disease. There is no question that the method's use is increasing rapidly, though no group collects comprehensive data, said Dr. Joe Leigh Simpson, vice president for research at the March of Dimes and past president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. By Holly Lebowitz Rossi Save Pin FB More Tweet Email Send Text Message Print Comments Add a Comment Be the first to comment! No comments yet. Advertisement Close this dialog window Add a comment Genetic Testing of Embryos Spurs Ethics Debate Add your comment... Cancel Submit Success! Thanks for adding your feedback.