Japan Group Proposes Expansion of Pre-Implantation Diagnosis

Society Lifestyle Science Technology

Tokyo, Jan. 25 (Jiji Press)--The Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology on Saturday proposed expanding the scope of cases for which the use of pre-implantation diagnosis is permissible.

At the first meeting of its ethics committee joined by sociologists, patient support groups, and pediatrics and genetics doctors, the society proposed that pre-implantation diagnosis be applied to patients of hereditary diseases that greatly affect their daily lives, including diseases for which no effective remedy is available or highly advanced therapy is the only way of treatment.

The organization also proposed removing the age limit for the diagnosis, which is aimed at examining fertilized eggs for genes related to serious inheritable diseases.

The society has so far tolerated the use of pre-implantation diagnosis only for people having genes of severe hereditary diseases, such as those that could cause patients to die before they grow up or require artificial ventilators.

At the meeting, the proposal was supported by doctors while sociologists and others express caution. One of the cautious members said, "We should consider changing the current society in which it is difficult to give birth to babies with diseases," and another stated, "Pre-implantation diagnosis is a technology leading to the selection of life."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press