On PGD in combination with HLA, ethical discussions have
taken place and are ongoing at the moment, mainly because
the procedure involves embryo selection (Pennings 2002,
Edwards 2004, Robertson 2004, Devolder 2005, De Wert 2005).
In case of embryo selection based on HLA typing the ethical
discussion is even stronger since the selection here is
based on a non-disease trait and opponents claim that the
child to be born is instrumentalized.
The question of the motivation of the couples also may raise
concerns. They could be tempted to have an additional child
solely for the purpose of furthering the interest of the
existing sibling and not because they desire another baby.
This difficult ethical issue can be partially addressed by a
careful genetic and psychological counselling of the couples
to ascertain their real motivation.
Considerable numbers of embryos were needed to identify one
closely matched with the sick sibling, although all embryos
resulted unaffected but non-HLA matched, not transferred to
the patients, are usually frozen for future possible use, in
case the couples wish to have more unaffected children.
However, most consider these criticisms a minor concern when
compared with the possibility of saving a child?s life from
a devastating disease.
Our experience in PGD for HLA matching