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New test coming to screen embryos for 15,000 genetic condtions

(14 Posts)
MannyMoeAndJack Fri 24-Oct-08 11:11:51

www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1080187/1-500-genetic-MoT-let-couples-screen-babies-ALL-hereditar y-diseases.html

I have to say, I was surprised to read that just 2% of all genetic conditions can currently be detected pre-natally.

I also find it hard to believe that any embryo could survive this new test without something 'undesirable' being found.

amber32002 Fri 24-Oct-08 11:14:02

I'm a bit despondent about this 'progress', to be honest. I can accept that if there's a very major disability, parents might want to be warned, but it brings to mind the whole "designer baby" and "any disability, no matter how minor, means you don't deserve to live" arguments sad

cyberseraphim Fri 24-Oct-08 11:14:50

Will it detect if the embryo will grow up to read the Daily Mail?

MannyMoeAndJack Fri 24-Oct-08 11:18:00

Or worse, the Guardian?

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Fri 24-Oct-08 11:18:19

Is it only for use in IVF? I agree, that it will pick up something.

Currently there are a couple of companies that will give you a risk factor for every disease for which there is a genetic test (the supposed idea being if you're at risk of type 2 diabetes for example then you can modify your diet in time). It's very expensive though, and it only tends to give risk factors rather than definites.

filz Fri 24-Oct-08 11:18:45

snort at cyberseraphim!

I think with respect to muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis and Huntington's disease its a good step forward. Trouble is nothing is easy is it? It will mean IVF treatment etc

expatinscotland Fri 24-Oct-08 11:19:21

do any of these people ever consider the multitude of conditions that cannot be detected before birth: CP, autism, bipolar disorder/depression, dyspraxia and often associated conditions like dyslexia/dysgraphia/dyscalculia, propensity towards alcholism or other substance addictions, other psychiatric conditions like schizophrenia, etc.?

people who need guarantees like the one offered by this 'service' have no business having kids at all, IMO (excepting of course, people who in the past have had a child with a condition, but i thought those people have to pay for this privately, anyhow).

TrillianAstra Fri 24-Oct-08 11:52:02

I love how the Mail reports things like this, it's just so helpful for those who might need this sort of service to have everyone convinced that it's all about 'designer babies'.

What this means for people who know they have serious genetic diseases in the family is that, instead of getting pregnant, waiting 3/4 months, having chorionic villus sampling (which itself confers a risk of miscarriage), waiting for the results, and then deciding whether or not to abort, they can start from the beginning with a healthy embryo. I know that IVF isn't nice, but surely beter than going through all that?

www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article5004106.ece for another take on the story, obviosuly from the same rather limited press release. Check out the last sentence with regards to choosing eye colour or similar traits, "In addition, such applications would be blocked by the HFEA." Designer babies are essentially impossible (because you would need thousands of embryos to choose more than one or two traits) and also not allowed.

filz Fri 24-Oct-08 11:54:05

I completely agree with you trillianastra. My sister had CF, so I know exactly where you are coming from. Also agree about the daily mail but its hardly suprising

Woooozle100 Fri 24-Oct-08 12:07:56

agree with trillian

as someone who has 1 in 4 chance of passing on serious chromo abnormality probably compatible with life and 1 in 4 chance of passing on incompatible with life, I find any pgd developments v interesting and ethically much more preferable to cvs scenario trillion describes

regarding screening all conditions - my personal take on it is that I'm not too concerned with everything else - just the 50/50 shitstuff I face. Completely agree that can never give you the whole picture anyway. I had a ds after cvs who didn't have any chromo issues but was born with cmv and could've had all sorts of probs from cp, epilepsy, deafness etc as a result

r3dh3d Fri 24-Oct-08 13:04:20

Hum. Well we're currently starting down the PGD route. I personally don't think we "have no business having kids at all" but thanks for that charming thought, I mean obviously this whole thing isn't horrible enough for us already. We're doing it in Belgium because in the UK the HFEA hasn't yet licensed testing for the condition we are screening for.

What this article doesn't tell you is the cost. It will cost us about £6,000 per round of IVF and screening in Brussels. Plus the cost of drugs in the UK on top of that. (Plus fwiw daily injections and various painful procedures which I can't pretend I am looking forward to) They have a 20% success rate per round so realistically you are looking at an average cost of £20k and maybe more. I can't see the National Health stumping up for that. This is not nazi-style screening of the general population to produce a race of "perfect" babies. There is no way you would put yourself through all of this unless you already had a child with a serious condition. What this would do, I guess, is stop you going through the whole process however many times to finally become pregnant - and then finding out late in pregnancy that your baby had a condition incompatible with life. It happens.

Woooozle100 Fri 24-Oct-08 16:16:18

all the best r3dh3d for pgd. It certainly isn't an easy option. Wish you all the luck and success

needmorecoffee Fri 24-Oct-08 18:54:59

cost of test plus cost of IVF (possibly many cycles of both as IVF isn't that fanstatic).
hmm
and then you might get a baby with CP.

TrillianAstra Fri 24-Oct-08 19:03:47

Just curious ejb, is CMV related to having had chorionic villus sampling? Or just something that happened?

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