"The Arguments in Japan over Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis in the 1990s"


last update: 20151225

The Arguments in Japan over Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis in the 1990s

This article looks at both sides in the debate over the introduction of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis into Japan in the 1990s - the medical experts who promoted the introduction, and the disabled and women who spoke against it - focusing on the exchange of arguments between the Network Against Eugenics, one of the major actors against P.G.D, and the Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology argued that "preimplantation genetic diagnosis may be more ethical than selective abortion, and that it can be ethically accepted only for 'quite serious genetic disorders' as it is conducted based on women's self determination." On the other side, the Network Against Eugenics, a group of women and disabled people, stated that "P.G.D is a selection of life; it discriminates against those who live with a handicap. At the same time, the technology oppresses women by telling them that they have to give birth to a 'enormal,' genetically healthy child. 'To choose the quality of a child' is not included in a women's right to decide."

This controversy opened a new stage in the enduring argument, dating from 1970s, between a woman's right to an abortion and a handicapped person's right to life.

Keywords: Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis, prenatal diagnosis, selective abortion, reproductive right, new reproductive technologies

REV: 20151225
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