Sunday, July 16, 2017

Singapore court rules parents deserve kids with their genes

After screwing up an in vitro fertilization procedure, a medical center in Singapore has been ordered by a court to pay 30% child support, in perpetuity, because the child does not have proper "genetic affinity" with the parents. Note that this is different from a penalty for screwing up the procedure itself, or lack of consent from the parents. This opens the door to multiple sticky problems in the future:
It remains to be seen whether other jurisdictions will recognize the value of genetic affinity. But the judgment occurs at an interesting juncture in human history. We are gaining unprecedented ability to tinker with our genetic code, and this raises interesting ethical issues.

Do women with mitochondrial disorders have a right to engage in “three-parent IVF” to ensure genetic affinity with a healthy child, for instance?

If we use CRISPR-cas9 gene-editing technology to alter the genes of embryos, does it constitute a loss of genetic affinity with parents? And is it possible to use such editing to shift genetic affinity, by making a child’s traits more in line with one parent rather than the other?

These questions will only become more pressing as science advances, and the concept of genetic affinity may provide a coherent lens through which to consider them.
Asia Times

No comments:

Post a Comment