Reports are circulating in the British press about the case of two deaf artists who have said they are willing to use genetic selection in order to ensure that their second child—who would be conceived in vitro—is born deaf.
British designer Tomato Lichy and his partner, theater director Paula Garfield, are deaf and have a three year-old daughter named Molly who was born deaf as well.
Both were pleased at the news that their first daughter—conceived naturally—was born deaf and now they will attempt to have a second child. Due to Paula’s age, they doubt she can conceive naturally and therefore they said they are willing to use in vitro fertilization and genetic selection techniques to ensure the baby is born deaf as well.
Their case has sparked a debate in Britain over the use of in vitro fertilization and cases of genetic defects. The British government’s current norms stipulate that clinics must reject embryos conceived in vitro that show evidence of physical or mental defects in favor of those that are healthy.