GPs back use of embryo stem cells for research

Nine out of 10 GPs support the use of stem cells from embryos in scientific research, responses to the GP Attitudes survey reveal.

Only 9.7 per cent of 480 respondents to the survey by GP said they thought that research on stem cells from embryos should be banned.

In addition, almost two-thirds said they thought that parents should be allowed to select embryos free from genes responsible for conditions such as breast cancer.

Around a third thought that, as technology develops, screening should also be allowed to select embryos free from non-life threatening conditions such as autism.

Others suggested that parents should be allowed to select embryos free from conditions such as muscular dystrophy, haemophilia or other serious congenital diseases and chromosomal abnormalities.

Screening should be allowed, one respondent said, to select embryos free from conditions such as cystic fibrosis or Huntington's disease.

Another said it should be allowed 'to select embryos free from genes that are strong predictors of diseases leading to inevitable childhood suffering or death'.

One GP added: 'I would consider it for genetic disease likely to cause pre-natal death or death immediately after birth.'

tom.moberly@haymarket.com

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