First Brit baby born without cancer gene

The first British baby born from an embryo screened to ensure she was free from a genetic risk of breast cancer has been delivered.

The use of this technology is controversial but I understand why propsective parents might choose to use it.

Our sons had degenerative brain disorders the cause of which was never determined but which was almost certainly genetic.

Neither passed any of the developmental milestones which left them with multihandicaps. Tom lived just 20 weeks and Dan died 10 days after his fifth birthday unable to do anything more by himself when he died than he could when he was born.

We decided the one in four risk of having another baby with the same condition was too great.

Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) wasn’t available 20 years ago and given no-one knew what to test for wouldn’t have been an option anyway.  But if we could have used it we almost certainly would have.

7 Responses to First Brit baby born without cancer gene

  1. Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is a modern form of eugenics, and the ideology is still present in NZ today. In the second link below you’ll see a eugenics graphic that shows “genetics” and “medicine” as some of the methodologies that eugenicists use.

    http://kiwipolemicist.wordpress.com/2008/11/25/tapu-misa-of-the-nz-herald-advocates-forced-sterilisations/
    and
    http://kiwipolemicist.wordpress.com/2008/12/02/update-to-tapu-misa-of-the-nz-herald-advocates-forced-sterilisations/

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  2. Kismet says:

    In a family riddled with BC and a BRCA gene I am delighted that my neices may have this option when they get to having children.

    So very sad about your little boys – as a parent of healthy children I sometimes forget that I need to count my blessings.

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  3. homepaddock says:

    KP – your comments illustrate why PGD is controversial but I see a big difference between population control for political purposes and a personal decision by propsective parents in consulatation with doctors to save them and their children from the pain and misery associated with serious diseases.

    Kismet – thanks, we also have a healthy daughter.

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  4. Deborah says:

    I’m so sorry about your baby boys, and so glad that this technology will be available to your daughter, should she decide to have children one day.

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  5. rayinnz says:

    Dear HP, thank you for sharing such a personal part of your family life
    And as Deborah says isn’t great that science could/will make this easier for the next generation

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  6. HP: This will really put the cat among the pigeons, but here goes.

    First, allow me to say that I have lots of friends who are disabled and I’ve cared for disabled children whose disabilities are terminal illnesses, so I am not without sympathy.

    However, I believe that life begins at conception, and therefore I am opposed to IVF and PGD because both involve killing babies.

    Many people are pro-abortion but are opposed to killing a disabled baby after birth. That is an illogical position because birth is simply a change of address and no metamorphosis or transmogrification occurs during the birth process.

    http://christianclassicalliberalist.wordpress.com/2008/11/14/abortion-is-an-unwanted-baby-a-trespasser/

    http://sjdennis.wordpress.com/2008/11/15/refutation-of-pro-choice-arguments/

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  7. Mr Dennis says:

    I agree with KP. Certainly it is an emotive issue. But the issue HP is not whether you have two healthy children or two disabled ones, it is whether you allow the disabled children to live what lives they can or whether you kill them before birth.

    Would you have actually wanted to kill your children before birth because you would have preferred to have different children?

    I know that sounds blunt and harsh, but that is the reality of what this technology does.

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