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Genetics, Birth and Testing
Transcript of Genetics, Birth and Testing
In addition to the moral problems related to abortion, sterilization and contraception we are witnessing newer, more complex ethical questions connected with the process of conception, prenatal development and birth
- genetic counselling
- prenatal sampling
- gene therapy/genetic engineering (modifying the actual genetic codes to treat conditions)
Genetics, Birth and the Biological Revolution
There is much controversy over which changes are ethically acceptable.
This requires judgments about what conditions in our species are unacceptable:
- Lesch-Nyhan syndrome
-the particular sex of an embryo
Increasingly patients are being counselled about the statistical risk of conceiving a child with a genetic anomaly.
Is prenatal testing through PGD(preimplantation genetic diagnosis) or amniocentesis acceptable?
Are we going too far with technology?
What are option available for the Merriks? What are the harms and benefits for each option?
If the Harrelson's had created embryos by IVF, would they be more justified in choosing the one they preferred, even if it happened to include the gene for dwarfism?
This happens at a wider level - community based genetic screening programs.
From this case study identify what are the advantages of genetic screening? What are the disadvantages?
Do you think the future parents have a legal and moral right to refuse testing that will determine if they are carriers?
Do you they have a right for their offspring not to be tested?
Would it have been different if Mary Beth Whitehead had been a volunteer surrogate rather than a paid one?