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The Controversial Future of Genetic Testing | VICE News
A new video on polygenic screening featuring Simone & Malcolm Collins and Nathan Treff
VICE News recently released a video discussing polygenic embryo screening. The video features the Cassidy family, who screened their children for disease risk and selected against Type I diabetes, and the Collins family, who screened their daughter Titan for physical and psychological traits. The Collins mentioned a willingness to screen for IQ, educational attainment, and earning potential, which they defended. VICE then referred to the film GATTACA. Genomic Prediction’s Nathan Treff was asked, “Would Genomic Prediction ever go into testing for traits beyond diseases?” He said only, “No.”
The comments and VICE seem more sympathetic to polygenic screening for disease than psychological traits, but that might be partly influenced by Simone and Malcolm’s “weirdness” (e.g., naming their daughter Titan, and wanting lots of babies). But this video is an overall win for polygenic screening generally. My personal stance is that it is perfectly ethical to select psychological traits because they can improve the future child’s welfare. Happiness, intelligence, and personality are all critical aspects of a great life, and considering these traits during embryo selection is ethical. It will soon be morally obligatory in many instances.