Oct. 21, 2009
A paper published in the journal Fertility and Sterility by researchers at Columbia University finds that most IVF clinics fail to mention negatives associated with genetic testing of embryos.
Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is used to test for various genetic disorders, as well as to choose the sex of an infant. However the eugenic procedure, which involves removing one or two cells from an early embryo for the genetic testing, is not completely reliable and can harm or destroy the embryo. The researchers looked at websites of 83 IVF clinics that offered PGD; 22 of the clinics were hospital- or university-based, while 61 were private clinics. Only 1/3 of the clinic websites mentioned the possibility of misdiagnosis, and only 14% mentioned the risk to the embryo.
The lead author, Dr. Robert Klitzman, noted that "The information that clinics offer on their websites is, in essence, advertising, and should be seen as such by consumers."