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Information for Staff


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13:00 - 14:00 2 November 2016

Beyond disease prevention in reproductive selection and embryo modification


g1 | 18 Woburn Square (link Map)
London | WC1H 0AL | United Kingdom

Open to: Academic | Alumni | Public | Student
Admission: Free
Ticketing: Open

Speaker information

Tom Douglas, Senior Research Fellow, Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics

Prospective parents can employ various means to influence the expected characteristics of their future children. For instance, decisions about the timing of conception can be used to influence the likelihood that the child conceived will go on to suffer certain diseases, and couples or individuals undergoing in vitro fertilization can use pre-implantation diagnosis to inform decisions about which of several embryos to implant into the womb. These 'reproductive selection' techniques involve deciding which of different alternative possible future children to bring into existence, but it is also possible for prospective parents to influence the characteristics of a future child whose identity has (arguably) already been fixed. This can currently be done through lifestyle and health-related choices during pregnancy; in the future it may also become possible to genetically modify a developing embryo using gene editing techniques.


Mary Sawtell