Friday, January 16, 2009
What do you think of the news that the first baby to have been screened before conception for a genetic form of breast cancer has been born in Britain? Many articles report that women who carry this gene have an 80% chance of developing breast cancer and a 60% chance of developing ovarian cancer during their lifetime. However, carrying the gene does not make cancer inevitable, which makes use of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) in this way a topic of great bioethical debate. Personally, I must admit that I am a big fan of PGD. My daughter, Paisley, is a PGD baby. The technology allowed my husband and I screen for a genetic abnormality that would cause severe birth defects and mental retardation. If your cancer had a gene, would you use PGD to screen for it and try to avoid passing it along?