Sex Selection for Family Balancing? A Legal and Ethical Analysis
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
The development of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) has allowed accurate sex selection to be possible both for medical and non-medical reasons. PGD is performed in conjunction with in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Currently, in the UK sex selection is only legal for medical reasons. The purpose of this dissertation is to analyse the legal and ethical arguments in permitting sex selection for family balancing to become legal. Through extensive literature research and analysis this dissertation aims to show that allowing sex selection for family balancing will not have a detrimental effect upon society or the future sex selected child. Research has revealed that sex selection for family balancing will not distort the sex ratio of the UK, it will not be discriminatory against one particular sex nor will it be the beginning of the slippery slope towards designer babies. Sex selection for family balancing will not be a drain upon the NHS resources as it would have to be funded privately and neither will it disregard the status of the embryo. The conclusion drawn from this research is that the current regulation on sex selection in the UK is inadequate. Many UK parents want access to PGD and possibly other sex selective technology, such as sperm sorting, as they want to be able to select the sex of their baby for family balancing reasons. The main reasoning behind this is that these parents want the opportunity to experience the rearing of children of both sexes. As long as there are strict rules and regulations in place and the welfare of the future child and any existing children are considered, it is recommended that the law on sex selection should change to allow parents to select the sex of their baby but only for family balancing reasons.
MbyRes in Law