Subsidizing PGD: The Moral Case for Funding Genetic Selection

Original Research

Open Access. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry volume 16, p405–414 (2019). Published online: 15 August 2019

James M. Kemper, Christopher Gyngell & Julian Savulescu

Abstract: Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) allows the detection of genetic abnormalities in embryos produced through in vitro fertilization (IVF). Current funding models in Australia provide governmental subsidies for couples undergoing IVF, but do not extend to PGD. There are strong reasons for publicly funding PGD that follow from the moral principles of autonomy, beneficence and justice for both parents and children. We examine the objections to our proposal, specifically concerns regarding designer babies and the harm of disabled individuals, and show why these are substantially outweighed by arguments for subsidizing PGD. We argue that an acceptance of PGD is aligned with present attitudes towards procreative decision making and IVF use, and that it should therefore receive government funding.

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