May 24, 2024


A British IVF clinic want to create autism-free babies for couples who fear that they might have an affected child. A team at University College London says that boys are four times more likely to have autism than girls, so embryos would be screened to eliminate the boys. A prospective couple would only be allowed to have the procedure if autism had inflicted severe suffering upon the family.

The proposal to the UK’s fertility watchdog, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, is a controversial one because autistic children can live long and healthy lives. A spokesman for the British Council of Disabled People said: “Screening out autism would breed a fear that anyone who is different in any way will not be accepted. Screening for autism would create a society where only perfection is valued.”