Legal Limits and Potential Problems concerning Genetic Issues.
- The future of the children
- The Human Fertilisation & Embryology Act (1990) gives clinicians a statutory
obligation to consider the interests of the future children they help to create using IVF
- potential legal conflict due to confused relationships
- Affects on family relationships, and genetic elements in confusion. This could be a
cause for legal wrangling on inheritance issues. e.g. genetic mother has acted as nominal
grandmother. birth mother is is genetic sibling etc. see also future issues and cloning for some exploration of this
- Should genetic predisposition be a genuine plea for reduced punishments?
Question to Dr. Matt Ridley at the Newcastle Convocation Lecture 9/6/2001
- Although this has been tried, the legal system has always maintained that a person is
responsible for his actions.
- It would be a problem in society if we started testing for predisposition to e.g.
criminal activity. A predisposition does not mean that someone acts on that
predisposition. In fact if we wanted to so this it is possible to eliminate 95% of
criminal activity by arresting all people with an Y chromosome.
- Why allow experiments up to 14 days old
- Up to this point the developing cells are undifferentiated and totipotent (each cell can
develop into a full humna being and it is at this stage that the separation of the ball of
cells into parts produces monozygotic twins. (a natrually occuring process). At about this
age the cells change and a line develops in the blastula which is the beginnins of a
spinal chord. At this point parliament decided that human development has replaced simple