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From Chance to Choice. The Human Genome Project St Austell 22 October 2002. The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Perfection? Science - Fantasy or Reality? Risky Business? Consequences - gambling with our future or securing a better future?. GATTACA Columbia Pictures.

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from chance to choice

From Chance to Choice

The Human Genome Project

St Austell

22 October 2002

the birthmark by nathaniel hawthorne
The Birthmarkby Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Perfection?
  • Science - Fantasy or Reality?
  • Risky Business?
  • Consequences - gambling with our future or securing a better future?
gattaca columbia pictures

GATTACAColumbia Pictures

‘We now have discrimination down to a science’

‘There is no gene for the human spirit’

assisted reproductive technology
Assisted Reproductive Technology
  • Continuous development of new technologies
    • To try and improve ART
    • Expand availability of treatment
art some facts
ART - some facts
  • In the year 2000 there were about 572,800 ‘natural’ live births and 4,362 live births following ART: that is 0.76%
  • There are 68 clinics in the UK - over 95% of people pay for their treatment
is the choice safe
Is the choice safe?
  • Research and Development
    • Rarely established in other species
    • Often first try with human embryos
    • Few controlled randomised trials
    • Not sure if beneficial/long term effects
choosing your child
Choosing your Child
  • Defining ‘disease’ and ‘disability’
  • Pre-implantation genetic selection ‘diagnosis’
  • Genetic ‘enhancement’ of embryos - why not?
    • patenting and commercialisation
hfea research licence
HFEA - Research Licence
  • Advances in infertility treatment
  • Knowledge about congenital disease
  • Knowledge about causes of miscarriage
  • Contraception
  • PGD
  • Knowledge about embryo development
  • Knowledge about serious disease
  • Developing treatment for serious disease
the cloning issue
The Cloning Issue
  • Does this present any greater unknown than the other ‘treatments’?
    • Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine 1997 (UK not signatory)
      • Suggested ban on
        • Cloning (human reproductive ban)
        • Sex Selection (except X linked diseases)
        • Creating embryos for research
stem cell research
Stem Cell Research
  • Patient consent for research - for any use, altruistic?
  • Using ‘Spare’ embryos - why not?
  • Creating embryos for research
  • Cloning embryos for research
from chance to choice1

From Chance to Choice?

Where do we want to go from here?

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