November 26, 2022

SQUINTING TO SEE THE ETHICS

Adding to the number of conditions for which embryos can be designed for nervous parents who want a healthy baby, the possibility of screening for squinting. Both the father-to-be and his father have a condition called congenital fibrosis of the extra- occular muscles. This causes the eyes to look in a different direction from the direction of the face. The UK’s fertility watchdog, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, has given the London Bridge Clinic a green light to select an embryo without the faulty gene for the condition.

The director of Human Genetics Alert, Dr David King, was critical of the decision. “I really do think that this has gone a good deal too far because this condition, despite being, admittedly, perhaps somewhat disabling, doesn’t shorten life in any way. The HFEA has ignored public opinion and has ignored its own rules which say that PGD should only be allowed for serious medical conditions.”