Baby to be born free of breast cancer after embryo screening

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Baby to be born free of breast cancer after embryo screening

A woman has conceived Britain’s first baby guaranteed to be free from hereditary breast cancer.
Doctors screened out from the woman’s embryos an inherited gene that would have left the baby with a greater than 50% chance of developing the cancer.

The woman decided to have her embryos screened because her husband had tested positive for the gene and his sister, mother, grandmother and cousin have all had the cancer.
The couple produced 11 embryos, of which five were found to be free from the gene. Two of these were implanted in the woman’s womb and she is now 14 weeks pregnant.

By screening out embryos carrying the gene, called BRCA-1, the couple, from London, will eliminate the hereditary disease from their lineage.

“The couple produced 11 embryos, of which five were found to be free from the gene.” Odd how they sort of skipped over the part about five human beings getting tossed in the garbage. What else are they going to start screening for – diabetes? heart disease? And how long until insurance companies or governments insist on such testing?

O brave new world!

If eugenics is available, I have no doubt in my mind that people will use it in order to gain advantageous offspring. However, I think socialize eugenics is better than free-market eugenics. I suppose more people using the technology (by making it universally available) is better because it has the potential to enhance ability and relieving suffering which are extremely noble goals.

Sounds eerily like the movie “Gattaca” - where genetic screening is commonplace and your station in life is defined by your genes. Pretty scary stuff.

Oh, yes, how noble. Just declare people with genes “life-unworthy life” and eliminate them from the human race.
To save on costs, why even bother with the embryo testing? Just sterilise everybody with undesirable genes? Or euthanise them? than would help with the population you’re so concerned with (twice).

Eugenics is evil, an example of what happens when science is separated from morality.

Notice that the headline falsely says ‘baby to be born free of breast cancer’, as if having this gene made it a certainty that the child would develop the cancer. The reality is that the gene resulted in a 50% CHANCE of the child developing it, so those non-implanted babies had just as good a chance of NOT getting cancer as getting it.

I totally see what you mean…

I thought it sounded questionable when I first heard it on the news.

It’s never permissible to do evil to achieve good.

Furthermore, the goals may be “noble,” but soon it will be parents paying so their children will have the genes for blue eyes. Or for athletic ability. Or for super-intelligence. And then it will be decided that ALL children should be born that way, because, hey, we’d be doing them a favor, right?

Alternatively, only the rich could afford to have genetically-engineered “super children,” and it will create a caste system in the United States. Perhaps it would become illegal for the “super children” to breed with the “mundanes” unless genetic engineering is used to make sure that the progeny of the “super children” are also “super” – all in the name of making sure the children are given all the possible advantages in life!! And of course, any pregnancy due to a “super child” breeding with a “mundane” unlawfully would be terminated, because the poor kid just wouldn’t have a life worth living at that point, not being super-intelligent and all.

We’re already heading down that slippery slope.

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