Brinsden gives his views on perfect baby tests


24-10-2000

The head of one of Britain's top test tube baby clinics yesterday (Monday) vowed not to use the latest genetic breakthrough to create a master race.

Peter Brinsden said the facility won't be made available at the Bourn Hall clinic for parents who simply wish to create what they regard as the best physical specimens.



But Mr Brinsden welcomed the new controversial tests as an important aid in helping couples conceive healthy babies without inherited chromosomal disorders.



'To use it more generally and screen every embryo is not a progress that I would wish to initiate in our clinic for the time being because that does smack of more than just trying to prevent grossly abnormal children being born,' he said.



'The 'perfect child' could turn out to be stupid or finish up being a schizophrenic. What is perfect for one person is not for another, thankfully or life on this earth would be very dull,' he added.



Mr Brinsden's comments follow yesterday's announcement that British fertility experts can now map the genetic make-up of every chromosome - the building blocks of the body - to make sure they contain no abnormality.



Up until now they have only been able to examine five out of the 23 in healthy cells. Any missing or added chromosomes cause abnormalities and can result in death before birth.



Experts hope the new tests will allow for a greater degree of successful pregnancies using IFV treatment.



'For a certain group of people this will be very helpful. If used properly it will be very important for couples who had children or are worried about having children with inherited chromosomal disorders,' said Mr Brinsden, who runs the Cambridgeshire clinic.



'But to progress it beyond that and screen every embryo would be a development that I would not wish to see.'



By Mila Vucevic