Statement against Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis is an insult to couples with genetic disorders
We refer to the statement issued today the 28th May 2022 by a number of organisations, including LifeNetwork Foundation, against the proposed amendments to IVF law which will allow pre-implantation genetic diagnosis in exceptional circumstances. Their statement is an insult to those couples who have genetic disorders and shows a lack of basic understanding of biology.
As an organisation that regularly hears from people who need reproductive services, we have heard directly from couples with mono-genetic disorders who do not want to risk passing on the disorder, or a major form of the disorder, to their children. Their only option so far has been to spend several thousand Euro to have PGD-IVF abroad, an expense they incur just because they were unlucky enough to be born carrying a genetic disorder. The status quo is discriminatory against these couples, and the amendments to IVF law will seek to address this, at least partially. It is heartless to continue telling these disadvantaged couples “sorry, Malta cannot help you, go get what you need abroad at your own expense.” We can do better than this.
We would also like to point out that their claim that “such methods do not deliver a healthy baby but provide a tool to enable the selection of which baby will live and which baby will be frozen in perpetuity,” shows a lack of a basic understanding of biology and worse still a lack of empathy towards parents seeking to raise children free of exceptional health conditions which have caused suffering in their own families. Embryos are not babies. Most embryos fail to produce a viable pregnancy, let alone a baby. Equating embryos to babies, or human persons, is not scientifically sound and this faulty ideology is why people in Malta continue to be denied reproductive health services that are available in other countries. Yes, PGD-IVF does help deliver healthy babies and avert suffering. It is time we start valuing actual people and science rather than impose faulty ideology.