Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis: The Perks of Peeking into the Womb

Lauren Candee, Sacred Heart University

Biology Honors Senior Thesis written for course BI399A, faculty advisor Dr. Mark Jareb, April 30,2012.


Preimplantation genetic diagnosis, otherwise known as PGD, is often offered to couples who have a history of serious genetic disease and are using in vitro fertilization as a means to get pregnant. PGD is a technique that is used to identify certain genetic defects in embryos that are being produced by means of in vitro fertilization before they are implanted into the mother for pregnancy.

In this senior thesis paper, the author discusses what pre-implantation genetic testing is, the process, common diseases that this type of testing is used for (and details of the process of PGD for each specific disease), and its place in our future. Because it is a controversial topic, the author discusses the benefits and possible dangers of this method of testing, as well as the ethical views on PGD. The widespread usage of PGD is both a valuable advance in the prevention of harmful genetic diseases as well as an ethically permissible practice, although it does have limitations.