Genetic Choices: Prenatal genetic Testing
Technology not a days has progressed tremendously in the last few decades. When women got pregnant, there were not as many tests done back then than there are now. Expecting mothers now can see 3D/4D images of their unborn child and get genetic tests done to see if their child will have anything wrong with them. There are tests done now to see if a child will have down syndrome or tay-sachs, which they can now check 10-14 weeks, and doctors can now check to see if the unborn fetus is going to have diseases and disabilities before the child is even born. This is called prenatal genetic screening. It allows the doctors to take a small blood or tissue sample from the mother and doctors can then test for deformities, diseases, and mutations. Once the test results show that something is wrong with the unborn fetus, the mother then can decide if she wants to abort the child or not. There are many benefits to prenatal genetic testing, but at a certain point it becomes morally wrong to eliminate unborn babies because of their defects.
"Prenatal genetic testing is checking for genetic disorders by looking for changes in a person's DNA" (Childress 519). Doctors take a small blood or tissue sample from a patient and they can test for genetic mutations that could possibly show up in their child. For testing for prenatal genetics, the doctor or mother wants to "determine if a fetus has genetic abnormalities likely to cause physical or mental impairments" (520 Vaughn ). If a mother is over the age of 35, the odds of her having a child with down syndrome is greater than a mother who is in her 20's. Genetic testing is also performed when there are inherited genetic disorders in the family history or "when ancestry or ethnicity suggests a greater chance of particular genetic disorders like tay-sachs.(520 Vaughn). Fetuses are now tested for genetic disorders causing mental retardation, deafness, physical deformities', developmental defects, blindness, and death. The only bad part of genetic testing is making the decision to go along with the pregnancy knowing the fetus will have something wrong with the baby, or about it.
There are positives that come out of prenatal genetic testing. With doing the prenatal genetic testing, the doctor and expecting mother and father could decide (if something is wrong with the fetus) the treatment and/or if it is safe and beneficial to carry the pregnancy to term. Finding out that a child is not going to be born "normal" is always heartbreaking, so genetic testing gives the parents a choice to terminate the pregnancy if the new parents are not ready to take on the responsibility of caring for a child with disabilities, or find a family willing to adopt the child after it is born. If the parents decide to keep their child, it gives the parents time to prepare for the care of their disabled child.
There are negatives in prenatal genetic testing as well. One negative effect is that if...