Little PP2 - 3.15.08 GeneticScreening , . .The 'sDNA,...

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Unformatted text preview: HarrisonLittlePositionPaper2 3.15.08 GeneticScreening. Nowthatthehumangenomeisbeingcracked,womenaroundtheworldhavebegun participatingingeneticcounseling.Thisformofgeneticscreeningiswhenpregnant womenconsultageneticcounseloraboutthegenetichealthoftheirbaby.The counseloranalyzesthebaby'sDNA,andwillprovidefeedbackaboutthegenetic makeupofthebaby.Themostcommonpurposeofthispractice,inAmerican culture,istoidentifyrecessive,fataltraitsthatmaybepassedongeneticallytothe child. Inthe1970's,whengeneticscreeningjustbegancatchingon,testingforfatal diseases,suchasLeschNyhansyndrome,wasconsideredveryappropriate. Recentlythough,morephenotypeshavebeentieddirectlytocertaingenes,and moretraitsarebeingscreenedinbabies.Becausemoreandmoretraitsare identifiedasbeingassociatedwithcertaingenes,geneticcounselorscannow determinesomethingasspecificaswhatcolorthehairofthechildwillbeaswellas iftheywillhavefrecklesornot.Somepeoplehaveabortedfetusesnotbecauseof expecteddiseases,butinsteadbecauseofthechild'sphysicalcharacteristics,suchas whetherornotitisamaleorfemale.Oneofthemostcommondiseasesscannedfor isAlzheimer'sdisease,somethingthatwillmostlikelynotaffectthehumanuntil theyareatleast50.Geneticscreeninghasbecomemorecontroversialinrecent historybecausepeoplehavehadabortionsfortrivialreasonssuchasthese. Theargumenttokeepgeneticscreeninglegalisthattheserviceprovidesthousands offutureparents,nottomentiondoctors,withinformationabouttakingcareof theirsoontobechild.IfthechildistobebornwithDown'ssyndrome,thenthe parentscanbefullybriefedonhowtoprepareforbringingthemintotheworld. Also,awellpreparedmedicalteamcanbeagreatbenefittoachildwhoisbornwith adisease.Forexample,ifthechildwillneedtobeaddressedimmediatelyafterhis orherbirthforacancerousgrowth,thentheappropriatemedicalfacilitationscan beonhandimmediately. Inamorecriticalcase,suchasLeschNyhansyndrome,wherethechildisfatedtoan exaggerated,painfuldeath,abortionmaybeanappropriatemeasure.The emotionalstressofbirthingamasochisticbabyorachildthatwilldiewithinseveral monthsisextremelyhighforbothparentsanddoctors.Allofthisemotionalscarring canbeavoidedwithanabortion.Thepublicevenagreesthatabortionisappropriate inthesecases.Whenabortiondoesnotaffectfuture,unabortedfetuses,roughly 74%ofpeoplewouldchoosetohaveanabortionforababyatgreatriskof immediatedeathduetogeneticdysfunctions. Notonlydoesgenetictestingpromotethesafetyofthechild,butalsoitpromotes thesafetyofthemotherwhilegivingbirth.Ifthechildhasageneticdiseaseor dysfunctionthatcouldinjurethemother,thenitcanbecriticaltoadminister appropriatecareforherinlabor. HarrisonLittlePositionPaper2 3.15.08 Geneticscreeningshouldremainlegalandlightlyregulatedbythegovernment.Itis aservicethatprovidesinformationnotonlytothefutureparentsofachild,butalso tothedoctorsthatcantakeofit.Also,itisaservicethatprovidessafetyand promotesthehealthofthoseinvolved.Itissociety'scollectiveresponsibilityto promotethehealth,andifgeneticscreeningweretoheavilyregulated,thensociety wouldnotbeupholdingthisresponsibility.Althoughsomemayexploitthepractice bychoosingtraitsfortheirchildren,suchassex,thebenefitsfaroutweighthe negatives.Intheinformationage,ifinformationcanbegatheredforsavingachildor parent,whyshouldhumanitypassuponsuchaprofoundopportunity?Theanswer isofcoursetopromotegeneticscreeningforthebettermentofcivilization. References: PSCopland."Professionalresponsibilitiesofbiomedicalscientistsinpublic discourse"JournalofMedicalEthics30:6162. DavidDevore."GeneticScreeningandEthicsOverview".WoodrowWilsonBiology Institute.1992 CatherineDold."TheAstonishing,SometimesScaryWorldofGeneticTesting". Cosmopolitan.November1994 ...
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  • Spring '08
  • DRAPER
  • Genetics, GeneticScreening. Nowthatthehumangenomeisbeingcracked,womenaroundtheworldhavebegun participatingingeneticcounseling.Thisformofgeneticscreeningiswhenpregnant, makeupofthebaby.Themostcommonpurposeofthispractice,inAmerican culture,istoidentifyrecessive,fataltraitsthatmaybepassedongeneticallytothe child, promotesthehealthofthoseinvolved.Itissociety'scollectiveresponsibilityto promotethehealth,andifgeneticscreeningweretoheavilyregulated,thensociety wouldnotbeupholdingthisresponsibility.Althoughsomemayexploitthepractice
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