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Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Patent for 'custom-designed' IVF babies causes ethical worries in US

Devotee of ethical idea has raised their concerns after the United States Patent Office approved the rights to a computer-matching technology which could help prospective parent custom-design babies through IVF.

California-based genetic testing company 23andMe says the system is a “fun way” for couples to predict the likely characteristics of their children – both medical traits such as lactose tolerance and aesthetic aspects like eye colour.
The technology could also let would-be parents to screen sperm or egg donors for particular genetic personalities. European bioethicists and lawyers say it could lead to people listing height, eye colour, muscle development and personality traits in their “shopping list”.

ETHICISTS wrote in their journal Genetics in Medicine that “selecting children in (such) ways is immensely ethically controversial” and authorities should have reflected on the ethical implications before approving the patent.

Jayne Lucke, from the University of Queensland’s Centre for Clinical Research, said the company would not be certified to pursue this line even if it wanted to. Most countries only permit selection of embryos, ova or sperm for disease prevention purposes. In any case, parents could never be assured of having certain types of babies.

“It’s an illusion that you can design a baby that way – the technology is a fair way away,”
  Dr Lucke said.


  1. People just want to play God

  2. For disease prevention i will say yes but for shopping list o no

  3. Medical researcher are going too far