A Theoretical Analysis of How and Why British Citizens May Feel Forced to Access Transnational Care to Fulfil Their Reproductive Desires in Relation to Genetic Editing

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 09:00
Oral Presentation
Amarpreet KAUR, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
As advances in genetic editing on human embryos continue to develop, British citizens with genetic diseases are among those patiently waiting for their reproductive choices to be extended. According to Plows (2011) there are approximately 10,000 monogenic diseases, around 4,000 - 6,000 of which can be diagnosed. Theoretically, such figures suggest that just as many genetic diseases could be edited out of the human germ line as research continues to progress. However, whilst other countries have been fairly proactive in providing genetic testing and diagnoses, the British National Health Service continues to function in a reserved and limited capacity. Marica Inhorn’s insightful research details how ‘ReproTravel’, i.e. transnational healthcare in the field of assisted reproduction, persists in flourishing. Whilst ReproTravel may sound exotic, the ‘necessity’ in many instances has emerged from individuals/couples trying to legally fulfil their reproductive ‘rights’ and desires in an affordable manner. Thus, in light of genetic editing and the confines of British legislation, there is a strong possibility British citizens may essentially be forced to access transnational healthcare if they wish to pursue creating a genetically related child without the fear of transmitting a hereditary disease. My paper draws upon my own research and my analysis of the global positioning of genetic editing on human embryos to explore, share, and discuss reasoning and motivation behind Britain's reluctance to enable its citizens to have a greater range of reproductive choice and power.