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.

About Julia Manning

Julia is a social pioneer, writer and campaigner. She studied visual science at City University and became a member of the College of Optometrists in 1991, later specialising in visual impairment and diabetes. During her career in optometry, she lectured at City University, was a visiting clinician at the Royal Free Hospital and worked with Primary Care Trusts. She ran a domiciliary practice across south London and was a Director of the UK Institute of Optometry. Julia formed 20/20Health in 2006. Becoming an expert in digital health solutions, she led on the NHS–USA Veterans’ Health Digital Health Exchange Programme and was co-founder of the Health Tech and You Awards with Axa PPP and the Design Museum. Her research interests are now in harnessing digital to improve personal health, and she is a PhD candidate in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) at UCL. She is also dedicated to creating a sustainable Whole School Wellbeing Community model for schools that builds relationships, discovers assets and develops life skills. She is a member of the Royal Society of Medicine’s Digital Health Council. 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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