I'm a firm believer that human life starts at conception, and I'm the father of a daughter who had two congenital heart defects, one life threatening -- coarctation of the aorta -- and one not -- VSD. Erin had an operation when 3 months old to remove the constricted section, and had a balloon angioplasty when 2 to break up the scar tissue that was causing a recurrance. We worried that our next child would also have heart defects. So I greet this news with mostly joy and only slight trepidation: New genetic testing of In Vitro Fertilized embryos can detect genetic diseases.
Such testing could help reduce, or even possibly eliminate a lot of genetic diseases, such as cystic fibrosis. Such testing could bring great peace of mine to anxious parents. Hence the joy. Of course the question immediately arises for me what happens to the embryo's that test positive. And one wonders how far do we go - do parents select embryos based on other characteristics, such as eye color? Hence the trepidation. I'm not one to stop a good because a bad may come later, especially when we can draw a line later against the bad. So I'm not too worried about what might happen years from now. But I am concerned with what happens now, namely what happens to the embryos. I can't imagine requiring a parents to have a child we know has a terrible disease, and yet just as I can't kill children once born with a terrible disease, I'm against destroying the embryo. So would it be too much to ask to hold onto the embryo until they can be cured -- until their genetic defects can be repaired? I don't think so.