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 entrepreneur, writer, campaigner and commentator. She is based in London and is the founder and Chief Executive of 2020health, an independent, social enterprise Think Tank whose aim is to Make Health Personal. Through networking, technology, research, relationships and campaigning 2020health has influenced opinion and action in fields as diverse as bioethics, alcohol, emerging technologies, fraud, education, consumer technology and vaccination. Julia studied visual science at City University and became a member of the College of Optometrists in 1991. Her career has included being a visiting lecturer at City University, a visiting clinician at the Royal Free Hospital, working with south London Primary Care Trusts and as a Director of the UK Institute of Optometry. She specialised in diabetes (University of Warwick Certificate in Diabetic Care) and founded Julia Manning Eyecare in 2004, a home and prison visiting practice for people with mental and physical disabilities using the latest digital technology, which she sold to Healthcall (now part of Specsavers) in 2009. Experiences of working in the NHS, contributing to policy development, raising two children in the inner-city and standing in the General Election in Bristol in 2005 led to Julia forming 2020health at the end of 2006. Julia is a regular guest on TV and radio shows such as BBC News, ITV’s Daybreak/ GMB, Channel 5 News, BBC 1′s The Big Questions, BBC Radio, LBC and has taken part in debates and contributed to BBC’s Newsnight, Panorama, You and Yours and ITV’s The Week. She is mum to a rugby-mad son, a daughter passionate about Shakespeare, and wife of a comprehensive school assistant head-teacher. She loves gardening, ballet, Zimbabwe, her Westies Skye and Angus, is an honorary research associate at UCL and a Fellow of the RSA.
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