March 1, 2024

A week of IVF

Hi there,

The news in bioethics ebbs and flows. One week it’s organ transplants, the next it’s euthanasia and this week it’s IVF.

We discovered two important stories in two leading journals. The target article of the latest issue of the American Journal of Bioethics suggests that some parents are morally obliged to use pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. I detect a slow movement towards the feeling that parents are to blame if their child is born with a defect – whatever this word might mean.

But the second story undermines this to some extent. A biologist from Wellesley College, near Boston, writes in the Journal of Medical Ethics that IVF clinics hardly ever inform their clients of the risks of PGD for children – and they are not negligible. Given the confidence of the authors of the previous article, perhaps they don’t inform bioethicists either.


Michael Cook
The news in bioethics ebbs and flows. This week it’s two sensational stories about IVF.