Misleadingly it is often attempted to equate PGD with prenatal diagnosis. But the argument that the same diseases or chromosomal changes can be detected by both methods, falls short. With prenatal diagnosis the parents-to-be, in particular the pregnant woman, have to decide whether the embryo will be held in the womb of the woman and live. They do not select the “best” embryo of several. They are faced with the question of whether they want to keep the one child and are able to opt for a life with a disabled child. For PGD, however, a sample of embryos is artificially produced, the couple or medical staff decide which embryo is to be implanted due to its genetic disposition.
As a motive for the introduction of PGD the main argumentation is that it helps couples with fertility problems. Medical studies show, however, that PGD does not increase the chance of getting pregnant with IVF (cf. Harper among others 2010). In addition hormone stimulation puts a considerable strain on the woman’s body, as up to 12 eggs and more are required for PGD. The possibility of PGD in combination with “Social Egg Freezing” raises false hopes on problem-free motherhood at an advanced age (cf. insieme 2014 a). It should further be noted that the introduction of PGD is also going to entail huge economic benefits. In Austria and in Italy, PGD is still banned entirely, in France and in Germany it is regulated restrictively. In case of a liberal legislation Switzerland becomes an attractive place of treatment for infertile couples from surrounding countries. [...]
On 14 June 2015 the Swiss people will vote on whether Article 119 of the Federal Constitution will be changed so that in future, embryos in greater numbers can be developed and stored outside the womb. This constitutional amendment is a prerequisite for the modified Reproductive Medicine Act to become effective.
Insieme Switzerland and other organisations for the disabled see the referendum as an opportunity for a public debate about preconceived value judgements about people with disabilities.
They want to introduce considerations and warnings from the perspective of people with disabilities into the debate (insieme 2014 b):
For centuries, people with a trisomy were part of our society. If the development of PGD continues unreservedly, this may change. Is that what we want? Things will not stop at the testing for hereditary diseases and trisomies. There will be a demand for screening and eliminating further “undesirable” dispositions and characteristics. Imagine: Which ones will that be? What image of humanity will we let ourselves be guided by? •
(Translation Current Concerns)
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