These words were written by ethicist Jonathan Glover in his paper “Future People, Disability and Screening” in 1992. Whereas screening and choosing for a disability remained a theoretical possibility 16 years ago, it has now become reality. In 2006, Susannah Baruch and colleagues at John Hopkins University published a survey of 190 American preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) clinics, and found that 3% reported having the intentional use of PGD “to select an embryo for the presence of a disability.” Even before, in 2002, a controversy was generated by the case of Candace A. McCullough and Sharon M. Duchesneau, a lesbian and deaf couple from Maryland who set out to have a deaf child (then, Gauvin) by intentionally soliciting a deaf sperm donor.
Silvia Camporesi is a doctoral student in the “Foundations of Life Sciences and Ethical Consequences” program established by the European School of Molecular Medicine in collaboration with the University of Milan, Italy. Her special interests include research ethics, human enhancement, and genomics.