The Pros And Cons Of Prenatal Screening

1335 words - 5 pages

Child is a gift from God. Every parent hopes for a healthy child. However, abnormalities in the fetus growth becoming common nowadays. These may be due to physical, radiation and chemical factors. These factors will cause deformities such as genetic mutation which causes mental retardation, abnormal body buildup and other conditions which bring a lot of troubles in the future to the child themselves and their parents. Modern technologies and innovations in the medical field had developed a method to detect the abnormality before delivery and prevent this future tragedy to happen. This method is known as prenatal screening. There are several advantages and disadvantages of prenatal screening.

Prenatal screening is a test to detect diseases or conditions in a fetus or embryo before birth. It is available to all pregnant women. Prenatal screening may include blood testing, ultrasound and genetic test and aim to determine if the pregnancy is at a higher risk for a particular birth defect. The earliest prenatal test is the blood testing. It is used to determine the blood type and Rh factor of a mother and the fetus. This is to prevent the complication caused by antigen-antibody reaction of Rh group of the mother and the fetus which may lead to haemolytic anemia. Besides that, blood test is also able to detect some of the blood borne diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B, C and D and rubella. Ultrasound is able to determine the growth and development of fetus in the amniotic sac. It is able to detect structural defects such as spinal bifida and anencephaly, congenital heart defects, gastrointestinal and kidney malformations and cleft lip. Genetic test on the other hand is used to determine the chromosome condition in the fetus which enable the detection some of inherited diseases such as Thalassemia, Down Syndrome and others genetic problems. When parents know the fetus is “special”, they may be chosen to terminate the pregnancy. Thus, in general prenatal screening helps to detect congenital disabilities but is also thought to be the 'remedy' selective abortion (Seller, 1976).
One of the benefits of prenatal screening is to enable early detection of the developmental defect embryology. This embryology developmental defect may be due to the mutation or genetic inheritance. Mutation is a condition characterized by permanent change in the DNA sequence that makes up a gene. It can range in different sizes from a single DNA building block (DNA base) to a large segment of a chromosome. On the other hand, genetic inheritance is a condition whereby parents pass traits such as height and other characteristics to the children by chromosomes. “Sonograms, genetic tests and a new test called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis -- which is a genetic test conducted on embryos for people attempting pregnancy through in vitro fertilization -- allow women to better predict if the infant will have a genetic defect” (New York Times Magazine, 2006). Thus thorough these...

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