Embryo selection and democratic control

Joep Geraedts*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)


Recently, American colleagues called for a systematic collection of anonymized data on how many embryos and foetuses are deselected per institution per year, and for which conditions. These authors argued that if this information would be reported to a government agency or international body, the information would provide a baseline against which jurisdiction-specific trends in selection could be assessed. People who have disabilities, together with other key stakeholders, laypeople and experts, would then be in a position to assess the social impact of human selecting technologies and to make recommendations for action to mitigate negative effects as appropriate. However, such a systematic data collection does already exist in the Netherlands and has been in place for more than 30 years. It was first introduced to monitor the practise of prenatal diagnosis by the eight licence holders sending in all data to the Minister of Public Health, Welfare and Sports. Later, the same method was expanded to preimplantation genetic diagnosis. For 8 years, these data have been discussed in the parliament, which shows that the practice of embryo selection can indeed be kept under democratic control, albeit retrospectively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-172
Number of pages3
JournalMolecular Human Reproduction
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • embryo selection
  • PGD
  • social impact

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