Public Perceptions of Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis in Malaysia

Science and Engineering Ethics 23 (6):1563-1580 (2017)

Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis became well known in Malaysia after the birth of the first Malaysian ‘designer baby’, Yau Tak in 2004. Two years later, the Malaysian Medical Council implemented the first and only regulation on the use of Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis in this country. The birth of Yau Tak triggered a public outcry because PGD was used for non-medical sex selection thus, raising concerns about PGD and its implications for the society. This study aims to explore participants’ perceptions of the future implications of PGD for the Malaysian society. We conducted in-depth interviews with 21 participants over a period of one year, using a semi-structured questionnaire. Findings reveal that responses varied substantially among the participants; there was a broad acceptance as well as rejection of PGD. Contentious ethical, legal and social issues of PGD were raised during the discussions, including intolerance to and discrimination against people with genetic disabilities; societal pressure and the ‘slippery slope’ of PGD were raised during the discussions. This study also highlights participants’ legal standpoint, and major issues regarding PGD in relation to the accuracy of diagnosis. At the social policy level, considerations are given to access as well as the impact of this technology on families, women and physicians. Given these different perceptions of the use of PGD, and its implications and conflicts, policies and regulations of the use of PGD have to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis while taking into consideration of the risk–benefit balance, since its application will impact the lives of so many people in the society.
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DOI 10.1007/s11948-016-9857-z
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References found in this work BETA

Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis and the 'New' Eugenics.D. S. King - 1999 - Journal of Medical Ethics 25 (2):176-182.
Saviour Siblings.M. Spriggs - 2002 - Journal of Medical Ethics 28 (5):289-289.
Disability, Identity and the "Expressivist Objection".S. D. Edwards - 2004 - Journal of Medical Ethics 30 (4):418-420.

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Sex Selection and Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis.Edgar Dahl - 2015 - In Helga Kuhse & Udo Schüklenk (eds.), Bioethics: An Anthology. Blackwell. pp. 141-143.
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