In vitro fertilisation is very common today and perhaps the common observation of twin births in elderly prosperous females is one result .However, steps are now in action to produce, what may be termed a “choice “ for implantation based on polygenic risk scores based on SNP array results on the embryo.
Sometime next year, two male gay parents will have a child by in vitro fertilisation of an ovum from a female donor fertilised by both fathers.50:50.This is not unique in itself but the couple will for the first time choose which embryo should be implanted in the surrogate mother based on the results of multiple SNP arrays on the embryos which will give the best chance of a disease free life for their offspring, based on the polygenic risk score for common medical illnesses.
This is a first, when the choice of parents progeny is in the hands of the parents. Will this be the beginning of designer babies for the rich and famous.?At present the SNP arrays used,are for predicting common adult medical conditions.But, there are studies to show that this can be extended to traits like skin colour, height and IQ.When these are allowed ,the reproductive medicine industry will be the centre of controversy by helping parents to produce offspring by design.The design will be the choice of parents.As we stand on the threshold of advances in Reproductive Medicine,the miracle of birth will become a choice for those with deep pockets.We need ask ourselves, are we nearer to playing GOD.?
We have been in Medical practice for over 50 years and have seen many advances but this one will affect the whole world in the century to come.