Comprehensive Preimplantation Screening: Dynamics and Ethics

ESHRE Campus Symposium
Maastricht, The Netherlands
13-14 October 2011

Course description including main topics
The course will focus on the state of the art of molecular screening of embryos in the context of IVF, on realistic scenarios regarding the further development of this field, and on the ethical and social implications. Reproductive scientists and clinicians aim at the (further) development of preimplantation genetic screening (PGS), i.e. a systematic offer of embryo testing to (all) IVF-patients and/or the offer of wider embryo testing to (all) applicants of PGD. At present, the use of microarrays is being explored as a promising technology in this context as it allows for a more comprehensive screening of embryos than is possible with non-molecular techniques. At the same time, micro-array screening leads to a host of difficult ethical questions. These regard the definition of the precise aims of embryo screening, the handling of unsought information, the possibility of informed consent, the prospect of additional selection for non-medical traits etc. Should it become possible in the (near) future to screen IVF-embryos on the basis of whole genome sequencing (regarded by some experts as a realistic scenario), these questions will only become more difficult, presenting the field with some real challenges and dilemmas.

Course objectives
1) To present an overview of current and realistically expected developments in preimplantation genetic screening (PGS), including the use of microarrays and the possible introduction of WGS-based screening ;
2) To raise awareness of the complex ethical issues involved and to systematically identify the main dilemmas and challenges arising in this context;
3) To contribute to the development of sustainable ethical guidance.

Target audience
The target audience consist of clinicians and scientists working in IVF, PGD and PGS (gynecologists, embryologists, clinical geneticists, molecular geneticists etc.), as well as ethicists, lawyers and policy makers interested in the development of this field.

Registrations are only possible online. Registrations are limited to 100 participants. For availability of places, please check the ESHRE Calendar. To register, please go to

Hora i data d inici 13/10/11   (Evento de todo el día)
Hora y data de finalització 14/10/11  
Localització Maastricht, The Netherlands
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