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Catholic ethicist criticises embryo testing breakthrough

Melbourne ethicist Nicholas Tonti-Filippini has warned that an IVF breakthrough that allows doctors to test all sets of chromosomes for abnormalities in embryos is akin to making designer babies.

Potentially faulty embryos can now be identified through the screening, allowing doctors to implant those with a greater chance of surviving through to full term.

"Selecting healthy embryos, or so-called healthy embryos, is already making a distinction against people with a disability," Tonti-Filippino said. "It says something about chronic illness and it says something about disabilities right across the community.

"In other words, you're saying something against the rights of disabled people, you're saying that they shouldn't be, they shouldn't exist."