CHICAGO, February 27, 2002 (LSN.ca) – Headlines worldwide today were describing the wonder of designer baby procedures. This despite the fact that the procedures are responsible for the creation of multiple living human embryos which are then genetically screened, and those human embryos found to have disabilities are killed while the healthy are allowed to live.
The case involves a woman in her early 30s who has a genetic disorder which causes early onset of Alzheimer's, causing the disease to strike before age 40. After her IVF treatment, multiple embryos were screened for the defective gene and those found to have it were killed. Researchers at the Reproductive Genetics Institute of Chicago implanted only embryos that were found to be free of the gene and a baby girl was born 18 months age. The current edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that scientists say they have determined that the girl is free of the disease. The lead researcher said that such genetic screening procedures have been performed 3000 times.
The following headlines were typical of coverage worldwide:
Alzheimer's mother gives birth to healthy baby (Irish Times)
Gene screening voids risk of inherited Alzheimer's (International Herald Tribune)
Prenatal Alzheimer's Test Succeeds (Herald Sun)
Gene test spares baby from defect (Chicago Tribune)
Test enables Alzheimer-free birth (Concord Monitor)
Baby Spared Mother's Fate by Genetic Tests as Embryo (New York Times)