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Selecting the Perfect Baby:

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by

Asia Irving

on 13 December 2013

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Transcript of Selecting the Perfect Baby:

What are the basic processes of IVF and PGD?
IVF:

Step 1: Control Ovarian Hyper-stimulation

Step 2: Egg retrieval

Step 3: Fertilization and Embryo Culture

Step 4: Embryo Quality

Step 5: Embryo Transfer.

How could a sibling’s blood help cure Sally?
Because Fanconi anemia is a rare autosomal recessive disease stem cell transplantation is the only curative treatment, a bone marrow transplant can cure the blood count problems of the disease and the best donor is a brother or sister whose tissue type matches the patient.

What other illnesses or developmental disabilities can be inherited this way?
Cystic Fibrosis, Sickle cell Anemia, Tay Sachs, and Polycystic Kidney Disease (ARPKD).
How could PGD be used to create a sibling to help cure Sally?
When the embryos undergo Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis the ones with the genetic defect will be seen, and then not implanted in the womb. This will ensure only non affected embryos make it. Thus giving Sally and unaffected sibling that can help cure her.
What is so unusual about the PGD proposed by the Shannons?
The Shannons want a baby free of the Fanconi disease but also a perfect bone marrow match for Sally. since the patients are so fragile the bone marrow has to be near perfect match for it to work correctly. So the child has to be free of Fanconi Anemia and perfect bone marrow match.
Selecting the Perfect Baby:
The Ethics of "Embryo Design"



What are the basic processes of IVF and PGD?
Step 1. You undergo normal In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatment to collect and fertilize your eggs.

Step 2. The embryo is grown in the laboratory for two - three days until the cells have divided and the embryo consists of around eight cells.

Step 3. A trained embryologist removes one or two of the cells from the embryo.

Step 4. The cells are tested to see if the embryo from which they were removed contains the gene that causes the genetic condition in the family.

Step 5. Embryos unaffected by the condition are transferred to the womb to allow them to develop.

Step 6. Any suitable remaining unaffected embryos can be frozen for later use. Those embryos that are affected by the condition are allowed to perish.

Step 7. About two weeks after the embryo transfer, the woman is given a pregnancy blood test.

What risks are involved in this whole procedure?
Most of the risks involved for PGD treatment are similar to those for conventional IVF.

From the patients point of view, even going through their treatment cycle, PGD and IVF, there is no certainly that the pregnancy will occur.

Drug Reaction: hot flushes, feeling down or irritable, headaches and restlessness.

Ovarian Hyper-stimulation syndrome: swollen stomach, stomach pains, nausea and vomiting.

How Could baby Sally inherit Fanconi Anemia even though neither parent suffered from it?
Fanconi Anemia is an Autosomal recessive disorder; since both parents are carriers of the disease there is a possibility that their child could inherit the gene from both parents.
What are the odds that the shannons second child would also have the disease?
There is a 50% chance that the second child will be a carrier and there is a 25% chance that it will not be affected at all.
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What are some ethical issues related to the use of IVF? What are some ethical
issues related to the use of PGD? What do you think about those issues?
With the use of IVF the ethical issues could be sorting through the embryos and choosing one without a disease. The ones that do have the disease will not live and will be destroyed. Never given a chance.
With PGD the doctors will be looking for embryos with a "specific combination of genetic traits". Also the process will in no way benefit the baby but it will benefit a sibling. The baby would basically be a "blood donor for its sibling".
As long as the baby is not harmed and when it comes of age, and still has to give bone marrow, has the choice of doing the procedures as they wish and not as the parents wish.


What do you think the research team should do? What should the Shannons do?
The research team should continue and do the procedure. They could help make a new life which would save another. The Shannons should go along with the process they caould have a new baby and save another one.
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