A new sociological imperative: Towards engaging with preimplantation genetic diagnosis

Brandenburg, Kellie
February 2007
Health Sociology Review;Feb2007, Vol. 16 Issue 1, p79
Academic Journal
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is a controversial technology in which human embryos in vitro are genetically screened (via cell biopsy) prior to selection and transfer to the womb. A review of the non-sociological literature dealing with PGD reveals a preoccupation with risk. Risk in this context is framed primarily in terms of an ethical concern focussing on the rights of the individual. Thus PGD is framed as a potential risk to individual rights. What is also evident is this use of the concept of risk obscures broader social dimensions such as choice and access. While some sociologists have located debates about PGD within a risk framework, others have drawn upon issues such as choice and responsibility. These varied positions are evident in the dissonance between lay perspectives and expert positions. I propose a number of questions about PGD which require further sociological attention.


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