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Preimplantation genetic testing

Testing of fertilized eggs during in-vitro fertilization treatment to identify genetic diseases before pregnancy will be expanded to cover conditions that develop after adulthood, the Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology said earlier this year, in a decision already questioned by one disabled group.

Preimplantation genetic testing, first approved by the society in 2004, examines chromosomes and genes of fertilized eggs at the request of people concerned about the possibility of passing on a genetic trait. Applicants are required to be undergoing IVF treatment.

But the testing has often met criticism since it could lead to only fertilized eggs without abnormalities being selected as worthy of life.

Given the ethical concerns, the society has been examining each application submitted by medical institutions based on requests by prospective parents on a case-by-case basis. It has allowed testing only for serious genetic diseases, except for cases in which women suffer miscarriages repeatedly.

Under the society's internal regulations, serious genetic diseases are currently defined as conditions that "severely impair one's daily life or threaten his or her life before becoming an adult."

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