Press Release on Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis
Friday, 30th April 2021
Doctors warn that the introduction of Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis leads to eugenics and devalues human life
Illness is not eliminated by eliminating the ill
DFL endorses the scientific truth that a human life starts at fertilisation and that once it has begun, it should always be treated with dignity and care, irrespective of the stage of development.
Embryos are human lives at a very early stage of development. Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) involves the identification of embryos that have a particular illness, and generally results in destroying or discarding them so that only unaffected embryos are implanted in the process of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF).
We must bear in mind that certain genetic conditions, such as cystic fibrosis, had an abysmal prognosis up until a few years ago; they have now become far more treatable with life expectancy approaching 50 years. Regarding Down syndrome, the life satisfaction of people with the condition is higher than average according to the evidence.
The introduction of PGD would be particularly disheartening to patients who are currently afflicted with these conditions, as well as their families who care for and support them. The deliberate elimination of humans with their condition sends the message that their life is not worth living and the mere presence of illness devalues them.
DFL wholeheartedly agrees with any ethical measures meant to decrease transmission of genetic illness to children. However, PGD will lead to a eugenic process that only eliminates illness by eliminating the ill. It implies a hierarchy of value, selecting the healthy who are given a chance at life and discarding the sick, condemning them to be destroyed.
We invite all MPs in the House of Representatives to reflect on these ethical implications and to ask themselves if they want to be personally responsible for the destruction of human embryos that will follow the introduction of PGD.