This Woman Will Decide Which Babies Are Born

Walk me through your own decision to do this: use Orchid’s technology on yourself.

I mean, I started the company because I wanted to test my own embryos.

Because of your mother or who you are as a person?

Both. Reproduction is one of the most fundamental things in life. It’s like you die, taxes, and, you know, people have kids.

You always knew you wanted to have children.

Oh yeah. Yeah.

How old were you when you said to yourself, “I should be able to sequence my embryos”?

I don’t think this is the sequence of my embryos specifically. I have always had an interest in genetics. I have always had an interest in fertility and reproductive technologies.

Even as a teenager?

I remember one of my Thiel Fellowship applications definitely had a version of Orchid in it.

That was over a decade ago, and many expectant parents still rely on the same genetic testing we used back then.

I would consider it negligent to use the old technology. Because by definition you are missing hundreds of things that could have been detected. Parents who are not informed of the existence of this new technology are receiving very poor service and will likely sue if their child becomes ill.

Do you think this is a legitimate lawsuit?

Of course. If your doctor doesn’t tell you that there is a way to screen your child so that they don’t have a life-threatening or life-altering illness, I mean, it’s already happened. (Since the late 1980s, parents have sued doctors for failing to perform genetic testing.)

How much does an orchid showing cost?

That’s $2,500 per embryo.

And probably you would examine several embryos. What about families who can’t afford it?

We have a philanthropic program that people can apply for, and we’re excited to accept as many cases as possible.

Your customer base, these days, should skew toward affluent optimizers, people who really care about numbers.

I guess you’re right. I mean, I don’t know.

Does this ever worry you? Give people, like, more things to worry about?

No no no. I think it’s the opposite. For the vast majority of our patients, this reduces worry.

There must be exceptions.

There are people who, I agree, are rather anxious. And I just don’t think they should be doing genetic testing.

Oh yeah?

I mean, everyone is different. It’s just that I want to expand the menu of choices. You choose your partner. You can choose when and if you have children. It’s like it’s your child. Why would you censor information about this?

But it still makes a lot of people extremely uncomfortable. There is very often a fear surrounding everything related to reproduction. Are we, I don’t know, afraid of playing God or something?

Every time we look at something, we develop – we develop insulin, right? We’re like, “That’s great!” » It’s not like you’re playing God there. But it really is, isn’t it? You create something that didn’t exist before.

News Source :
Gn Health

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