Preimplantation genetic diagnosis: an overview of socio-ethical and legal considerations

Annu Rev Genomics Hum Genet. 2006:7:201-21. doi: 10.1146/annurev.genom.7.080505.115753.


Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) permits the selection of embryos of a particular genotype prior to implantation. As a reproductive technology involving embryo selection, PGD has become associated with considerable controversy. This review examines some of the ethical, legal, and social issues raised by PGD. Relevant ethical considerations include the status of the embryo and the interests and duties of the parents. On a social policy level, considerations of access as well as the impact of this technology on families, women, and physician's duties also warrant consideration. An analysis of these issues in the context of using PGD for selecting embryos unaffected by a serious disorder and for sex selection is presented. We also present a brief survey of PGD-related regulatory schemes in several countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Government Regulation
  • Humans
  • Preimplantation Diagnosis / ethics*
  • Public Policy
  • Sex Preselection