Novel embryo selection strategies-finding the right balance.
Polyakov A., Rozen G., Gyngell C., Savulescu J.
The use of novel technologies in the selection of embryos during in vitro fertilisation (IVF) has the potential to improve the chances of pregnancy and birth of a healthy child. However, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and unintended consequences that may arise from the premature implementation of these technologies. This article discusses the ethical considerations surrounding the use of novel embryo selection technologies in IVF, including the growing uptake of genetic testing and others, and argues that prioritising embryos for transfer using these technologies is acceptable, but discarding embryos based on unproven advances is not. Several historical examples are provided, which demonstrate possible harms, where the overall chance of pregnancy may have been reduced, and some patients may have missed out on biological parenthood altogether. We emphasise the need for caution and a balanced approach to ensure that the benefits of these technologies outweigh any potential harm. We also highlight the primacy of patients' autonomy in reproductive decision-making, especially when information gained by utilising novel technologies is imprecise.