Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis in the Gulf Cooperative Council Countries: Utilization and Ethical Attitudes

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					     HUMAN REPRODUCTION AND GENETIC ETHICS



     Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis in
     the Gulf Cooperative Council Countries:
     Utilization and Ethical Attitudes
     HAMZA ALI ESK ANDAR ANI, PHD
     Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, King Faisal University, PO Box 2114, Dammam 31451,
     SAUDI ARABIA
     E-mail: hamzahoo@yahoo.com


     Abstract:
     Objective: Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) has been utilized by assisted
     reproductive technology (ART) to genetically screen embryos before placement in the
     uterus. However, many objections have been raised against the genetic screening of
     embryos, giving the practice an uncertain ethical, legal, and social status. Our aim was,
     therefore, to survey the possible presence and compliance to any legislation for PGD
     in the existing 60 in vitro fertilization (IVF) centres in the Gulf Cooperative Council
     (GCC) countries as well as the availability of such a technological service.

     Methods: The study was performed in the department of biochemistry at King Faisal
     University between the periods Mar 2006 to Nov 2007. A questionnaire, in the form
     of a table, was sent to responsible persons of all 60 IVF centres and health authorities
     in the GCC countries. The collected data about the regulations and guidelines for the
     PGD program was analyzed using SPSS software package version 12.0 and the level of
     significance was set at P<0.05.

     Results: 18 respondents, 16 IVF centres and 2 health authorities (26.87% of total)
     participated in the survey. The PGD techniques, mainly FISH analyses, were practiced in
     three centres in Saudi Arabia and one centre in the UAE. The major provider of PGD was
     King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Riyadh where more than 300 PGD
     tests had been performed. Whilst some regulations and guidelines have been introduced
     to IVF centres in all GCC countries, their implementations were left to the discretion of
     the treating centre.

     Conclusions: PGD services in the GCC countries were under-utilized due to the high cost
     of tests, the sophisticated technology involved and the poor returns of the investment. As
     a result of some deficiencies in the legislations which regulated PGD, the medical teams
     involved often faced difficulties on what rights to exercise in various PGD cases.

     Keywords: Assisted reproductive technology (ART), in vitro fertilization (IVF), pre-
     implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), fluorescence in situ hybridiza
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: OBJECTIVE: Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) has been utilized by assisted reproductive technology (ART) to genetically screen embryos before placement in the uterus. However, many objections have been raised against the genetic screening of embryos, giving the practice an uncertain ethical, legal, and social status. Our aim was, therefore, to survey the possible presence and compliance to any legislation for PGD in the existing 60 in vitro fertilization (IVF) centres in the Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) countries as well as the availability of such a technological service. METHODS: The study was performed in the department of biochemistry at King Faisal University between the periods Mar 2006 to Nov 2007. A questionnaire, in the form of a table, was sent to responsible persons of all 60 IVF centres and health authorities in the GCC countries. The collected data about the regulations and guidelines for the PGD program was analyzed using SPSS software package version 12.0 and the level of significance was set at P0.05. RESULTS: 18 respondents, 16 IVF centres and 2 health authorities (26.87% of total) participated in the survey. The PGD techniques, mainly FISH analyses, were practiced in three centres in Saudi Arabia and one centre in the UAE. The major provider of PGD was King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Riyadh where more than 300 PGD tests had been performed. Whilst some regulations and guidelines have been introduced to IVF centres in all GCC countries, their implementations were left to the discretion of the treating centre. CONCLUSIONS: PGD services in the GCC countries were under-utilized due to the high cost of tests, the sophisticated technology involved and the poor returns of the investment. As a result of some deficiencies in the legislations which regulated PGD, the medical teams involved often faced difficulties on what rights to exercise in various PGD cases.
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