First British Cancer-Screened Baby Born

January 9, 2009

UK (ChattahBox) – The first ever British baby to be born following a genetic cancer screening has been born in London, where doctors say she is healthy, happy, and doing fine.

The parent’s, who wished to remain nameless, has decided on the measure after suffering the effects of relatives with various forms of cancer, a pain that had been passed through the generations on both sides. Fear that their own child may suffer breast cancer later in life had prompted them to seek the guidance of recent medical advancements to remove the risk.

“The parents will have been spared the risk of inflicting this disease on their daughter,” Paul Serhal of the University College Hospital commented. “The lasting legacy is the eradication of the transmission of this form of cancer that has blighted these families for generations.”

The procedure, which is still in experimental stages, requires doctors to create embryos through IVF (In Vitro Fertilization), which are later screened for the gene that causes breast cancer, allowing them to pick the embryo for implantation that is free of the risk for the deadly disease.

The procedure has caused debate amongst pro-life groups who feel the practice of separating healthy and unhealthy embryos is immoral and unethical, as those not chosen are left to die off, rather then be used.

But most fertility watchdogs don’t agree, and so it is a wide-spreading option for parents who are afraid of passing on fatal illnesses to their offspring.

“A patient doesn’t enter into this procedure lightly. They had genetic counseling and a lot of soul searching before going into this treatment,” Sernhal explains.

It is hoped that further experimentation will bring other disease-causing genes to the surface, allowing for more screening to improve overall human health.


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