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July 12, 2010 / Magic Mama

Genetics vs. Gender

Dr. Mark Hughes of Genesis Genetics in Michigan is our PGD doctor. We had a phone conference with him toward the end of March and really enjoyed speaking with him. He is extremely thorough and very friendly. He expressed that he is thrilled to be able to offer this technology, but disappointed that it doesn’t allow for more interaction with his patients since that is part of why he became a doctor in the first place. He requested that we send him a photo of ourselves so that he and the staff could put faces to names while they worked on our case, explaining that it would provide extra motivation when they were working long hours. I thought that was a nice idea–to be people rather than a file.

I came across an interesting video (below) which includes Dr. Hughes and features two families: a family that used PGD for genetic reasons and a family that used PGD for sex selection. According to this 60 Minutes article, Dr. Hughes “developed [PGD] for one reason–to help root out disease,” and “[doesn’t] think doctors have any business there,” referring to sex selection for non-medical reasons. I really tend to agree, but I also find myself not wanting to judge anyone in their reproductive decisions knowing that there are plenty of people in the world that would also find our decision unethical even though it is for a medical reason. I’m okay with those opinions because I strongly feel the most ethical decision is for us to try to bring a healthy baby into the world. And I feel fortunate that we will (hopefully) be able to do so.

The Genetic Promise
New technology can screen embryos for genetic disease, but, controversially, it also allows parents to choose their baby’s gender. 

CNN Video
Click the image to link to the video

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