Preimplantation genetic diagnosis: technological promise and ethical perils

Fertil Steril. 2005 May;83(5):1347-53. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2004.11.050.


Objective: To describe the ethical issues inherent to the current and foreseeable uses of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD).

Design: Review of ethical principles and their application to PGD.

Setting: Academic medical center.

Patient(s): None.

Intervention(s): None.

Main outcome measure(s): A discussion of the current ethical perils surrounding the use of PGD, and a prediction of future ethical quandaries that will arise from the use of this technology.

Result(s): Although PGD may be used to predict and prevent disease, it may also be used to determine nondisease traits. The ever-expanding ability of genetics to determine qualities of the preimplantation embryo continues to open up new ethical questions relating to the use of PGD for preimplantation diagnosis.

Conclusion(s): Preimplantation genetic diagnosis is a powerful technique with many positive applications. As with all such new technologies, care should be taken to ponder the ethical implications of its use before routinely accepting PGD as a tool in the reproductive armamentarium.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Genetic Testing / economics
  • Genetic Testing / ethics
  • Genetic Testing / trends
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Preimplantation Diagnosis / economics*
  • Preimplantation Diagnosis / ethics*
  • Preimplantation Diagnosis / trends*
  • Sex Preselection / ethics