Where are we going?

Sunday papers and others today report the IVF egg raffle that is being hosted by the London Bridge fertility clinic. On their website they also offer genetic testing for 100 recessive genes…the ones that have no consequence unless both parents are carriers.Where are we going with this? I’m not against IVF, but I question the NHS paying for it, and I abhor the commoditisation of humanity.

The HFEA weakly says the IVF raffle isn’t illegal; the latter testing is promoted virtually unregulated in the UK with naive potential parents being scared into extra medical costs. I don’t object to some genetic screening; I do object to the manipulation, the drive to turn us all into patients and the suspect utility and validity of these tests. I expect if we were all tested for 100 recessive genes we’d all come up with interesting and potentially scary recessive traits. Retail genetics and body shopping have profound consequences for society, and they should not be sanctioned without us considering the impact on the future of humanity.

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About Julia Manning

Julia Manning is a social pioneer, writer, campaigner and commentator. Formerly a clinical optometrist specialising in diabetes and visual impairment, she is the founder and Director of 2020health, an independent, social enterprise Think Tank whose aim is to Make Health Personal and Social. 2020health has through research, events and campaigning influenced opinion and action in fields as diverse as bioethics, alcohol, emerging technologies, fraud, education, consumer technology and vaccination. In 2014, 2020health were founding partners of the Health Tech and You Awards with Axa PPP and the Design Museum. Since 2016, 2020health has increasingly focused on digital health and public health in the community. Julia is a Fellow of the RSA and now also a part-time PhD student at the UCL Interaction Centre, studying the use of digital technology for stress management in the workplace. Julia has shared 2020health's research widely in the media (BBC News, ITV, Channel 5 News, BBC 1′s The Big Questions & Victoria Derbyshire, BBC Radio 4 Today, PM and Woman's Hour, LBC) and has taken part in debates and contributed to BBC’s Newsnight, Panorama, You and Yours and ITV’s The Week.
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