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Is Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis permissible?

Question:

What do the scholars and experts of shariah say regarding the permissibility of examining the embryo in the IVF procedure for an older age woman. The examination will be for preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to avoid any severe problems in the child?

Answer:

All perfect praise is for Allah ﷻ, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah ﷻ, and that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is His Messenger.

Pre-Implementation Genetic Diagnosis is a genetic screening carried out on an embryo which is to be used in the IVF process. Generally, if the embryo is found to likely carry a genetic disease and be defective it will be discarded, as opposed to a healthy embryo which will be kept an implanted into the mother’s womb.

It will be permissible to have a PGD performed in specific circumstances such as to prevent the transmission of genetic diseases from parents to children. However, respect and care must be shown to the embryo as it still is a potential life source. It will be impermissible to have PGD performed for any secondary reason such as a general check-up, gender selection etc.

And Allah ﷻ knows best.

This fatwa is written by Dr. Hafiz Muhammad Munir Al-Azhari