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Genetic Counseling: Good or Bad?
Pregnancy is a beautiful part of life. Many people wish for lots of children so they can experience pregnancy over and over again; many people may only have one child because their pregnancy was not enjoyable. There are several children born every day with birth defects, diseases, and disorders. What if you could know the risk of your child having one of these before you even got pregnant?
Genetic counseling is one option for learning the risks of having a child if you’re a carrier of a gene that is defective. “A genetic counselor is a professional skilled in both genetics and counseling” (Belsky 59). Going to a genetic counselor can help with understanding the risks as well as the treatments for the child. A couple should consider genetic counseling if someone in their family has a known disease or genetic mutation, or if they think they could possibly be a carrier of a defective gene.
Although genetic counseling can be helpful in knowing whether or not you or your partner is a carrier for a gene, there are also some risks that go along with it. There are few physical risks, because many genetic tests only require a blood sample or cheek swab. However, if you wish to have testing done while pregnant, then the risk of miscarriage arises. Testing while pregnant includes taking amniotic fluid from the mother or a sample of tissue from around the fetus, which could lead to losing the pregnancy.
“Many of the risks associated with genetic testing involve the emotional, social, or financial consequences of the test results. People may feel angry, depressed, anxious, or guilty about their results” (GHR, 2014). People react and handle situations differently, so each individual case in unique. You may also find some things out about others in your family that could affect their children. Some people feel that the risk of having a child with disabilities or a disorder would cause too many...
Cited: Belsky, J. (2013). Chapter 2: Prenatal Development, Pregnancy, and Birth. Experiencing the lifespan (3rd ed., pp. 59-62). New York: Worth Publishers.
What are the risks and limitations of genetic testing?. (2014, September 1). Genetics Home Reference. Retrieved September 8, 2014, from http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/handbook/testing/riskslimitations
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