Friday, July 16, 2004

Public consultation on gene testing

The Human Genetics Commission, the Government advisory body on developments in human genetics, has produced a discussion document on the social implications of some of the recent advancements in genetic technology. In particular, they want to know what people think about embryo screening and selection. Where should we draw the line between avoiding a genetic disorder and creating a designer baby -- and is there anything wrong with designer babies anyway? And given the new technologies, is there anything we should change about the structure or culture of our medical services?

The answers they receive from the general public will be used to produce a report to Ministers next year. The questions then are: Will the government pay any attention to what people have said? And, ultimately, should they?

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