Refining the ethics of preimplantation genetic diagnosis: A plea for contextualized proportionality

Wybo Dondorp*, Guido de Wert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Many European countries uphold a 'high risk of a serious condition' requirement for limiting the scope of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). This 'front door' rule should be loosened to account for forms of PGD with a divergent proportionality. This applies to both 'added PGD' (aPGD), as an add-on to in vitro fertilization (IVF), and 'combination PGD' (cPGD), for a secondary disorder in addition to the one for which the applicants have an accepted PGD indication. Thus loosening up at the front has implications at the back of PGD treatment, where a further PGD rule says that 'affected embryos' (in the sense of embryos with the targeted mutation or abnormality) should not be transferred to the womb. This 'back door' rule should be loosened to allow for transferring 'last chance' affected embryos in aPGD and cPGD cases, provided this does not entail a high risk that the child will have a seriously diminished quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-301
Number of pages8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


  • embryo transfer
  • ethics
  • indications
  • preimplantation genetic diagnosis
  • proportionality
  • welfare of the child
  • PGD

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