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Debate Topic – Couples Wishing To Undergo Ivf Treatment Should Be Awarded The Legal Right To Choose The Sex Of Their Child

5118 words - 21 pages


Debate topic – Couples wishing to undergo IVF treatment should be awarded the legal right to choose the sex of their child.

Good afternoon everyone our debate topic today is whether or not couples wishing to undergo IVF treatment should be awarded the legal right to choose the sex of their child. I’m Melinda and along with Angelique and Melissa we will be presenting the affirmative argument and the negative argument will be presented by Kristen, Judy and Deb.

Sex selection, also known as gender selection, has attracted great interest and controversy over the years. Gender selection has been associated with a number of ethical, moral, social and legal ...view middle of the document...

The language of a principle or rule of beneficence refers to a normative statement of a moral obligation to act for the benefit of others, helping them to further their important and legitimate interests, often by preventing or removing possible harms. The obligation to act for the benefit of a person is constrained by the desires or choices of others (the majority). Beneficence requires individuals to balance benefits, risks and costs to produce the best outcomes overall.

We believe that by applying eugenics, the principle of beneficence and the use of pre-genetic screening to avoid having children with sex linked diseases, provides numerous benefits to society as a whole. Financial strain on the already burdened health care system is reduced, and parents have greater peace of mind knowing that they will carry healthy children resulting in an optimal quality of family life. By preventing the implantation of genetically impaired embryos the cycle of hereditary genetically linked diseases is interrupted.

PGD or Pre-genetic Diagnosis is a procedure used for testing the genetic makeup of very early embryos created through IVF. At this stage, the embryo has about eight cells, which are typically identical; they have started to multiply but have not yet begun to differentiate. One cell is extracted and analysed. The remaining cells are capable of developing into a complete foetus. Pre-genetic Diagnosis can therefore be used to select the embryos that do not have a particular genetic sequence or a predetermined diagnosis of particular diseases such as haemophilia, cystic fibrosis, turner syndrome, Huntington’s disease and muscular dystrophy.

If either the mother or the father is a carrier:

- 25% chance of having a normal boy

- 25% chance of having a boy with a disease

- 25% chance of having a normal girl

- 25% chance of having a carrier girl without the disease

If the mother and father have the disease:

- 100% chance of having a child with a disease regardless of the sex

Bruce and Jenny are seeking IVF treatment, as Jenny is a carrier of Huntington’s disease and they would like to prevent conceiving a male child that has a high risk of inheriting the genetic condition. Through the use of PGD healthy female embryos can be selected for the implantation process. As Jenny is a carrier of this disease, there is a 50% chance that her female child will either be a carrier or be free of the genetic trait. However if she was to have a male child the impact of the risk is greater as there is a 50% chance that this child will either have the disease or not.

Therefore having the option and the implementation of PGD prevents the continuation of genetically linked debilitating diseases as well as improving quality of life for the child, family and the wider community thus fulfilling the ethical theory of utilitarianism. This confirms the point that the use of eugenics will benefit society by creating a...

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