Previous Entry Share Next Entry
(no subject)
I've been thinking about embryo screening for various genetic conditions a fair bit, for a while. I'm still slightly uncomfortable with it, because I think it might lead to a situation where people are entirely judged by their value to society (if people could screen out mental health conditions and low intelligence, for instance), and I wouldn't want to live in that sort of society. However, I do think that being able to screen for cystic fibrosis is probably a good thing.

Do you approve of embryo screening for cystic fibrosis etc?

Yes, absolutely
I think so
I don't think so
Absolutely not
I don't know

[I don't know that it's necessary for breast cancer actually. Surely if someone were born with the gene that makes it more likely that they'll develop breast cancer, a good solution would just be to have their breasts removed when they're 45 or so. It might be upsetting for them, but it does seem like a reasonable, practical solution.]

  • 1
I fail to see why conserving genes that make cancer more likely is better than eradicating those genes and reducing the number of people who get or die from cancer (or have to undergo preventative surgery, itself potentially fatal). Unless these genes have some other, beneficial affect.

undergo preventative surgery, itself potentially fatal

The risks of dying through breast removal are very very low.

But it's still a risk. Why take it? What's the benefit from keeping cancer-prone genes around? I don't see a benefit to society or the individual. What have I missed?

It's quite different from a situation where e.g. version X of a gene is associated with high intelligence and mental illness, and version Y of a gene is associated with mental well-being and low intelligence. Here it's not clear which is better for the individual, and society at large benefits from having both versions of the gene in circulation.

Actually the gene that has been mentioned most recently in terms of screening for breast cancer usually results in cancers at about 20 or so, in my opinion unless something changes (in a big way) 20 year olds won't want their breasts removed.
It doesn't just affect the chances of breast cancer either:
"mutations in the BRCA genes are associated with a 40-80% lifetime risk of breast cancer and a 10-50% risk of ovarian cancer"
So really you are talking about infertility too...

Other: I think screening is morally wrong for the same reason I think abortion is morally wrong, but I don't want either to be illegal because I don't think the state should override a woman's personal autonomy when it comes to deciding whether, and on what conditions, to become or remain pregnant.

Why do you think screening is morally wrong? And why do you think abortion is morally wrong?


I think the fertilised embryo has moral rights, including the moral right not to be killed in circumstances in which an adult would not be.

  • 1

Log in

No account? Create an account