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NZORD - Consultation on PGD Guidelines

NZORD - the New Zealand Organisation for Rare Disorders

Consultation on PGD Guidelines.

At last the waiting will soon be over. Proposed guidelines for Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) have been released for consultation. NZORD supports the prompt approval of this technology. In fact it is long overdue.

PGD promises to be one of the greatest steps forward for many years, in getting control over severe, debilitating or fatal diseases that have previously occurred in families. It will empower parents to avoid a repeat of the disease in the next baby, and in doing so it will actually reduce the ethical dilemmas for many people, as pregnancy termination will be avoided by this procedure.

Already more than 1000 babies have been born worldwide using the technique of PGD, more than 100 of them in Australia. Many hundreds of severe diseases have been avoided and now its time to get it going in New Zealand. Families and support groups with a close interest in it know it is a safe and ethically acceptable procedure that is wonderfully empowering for those at risk of inherited diseases in their babies.

The draft guidelines seem realistic and sensible, but we will be giving close scrutiny to the detail of them to ensure they strike the best balance of social and ethical considerations, while promoting preventative options and reproductive choices for parents. Click here for details of the report to the Minister, the draft guidelines and submission process, on the NECAHR website.

We will also be pushing for government funding of the procedure to ensure equitable access to all at-risk couples, though the Minister will be determining the funding question separately, after the guidelines are finalised. We look forward to the first PGD procedure in New Zealand getting under way in the New Year.

John Forman

Executive Director, NZORD

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