Should Parents Be Allowed to Screen Their Fetuses for Genetic Diseases or for Gender?

Topics: Pregnancy, Prenatal diagnosis, Abortion Pages: 3 (949 words) Published: October 16, 2008
Years ago it was impossible to determine if your unborn baby would have any physical, mental or genetic condition. At that time parents could do nothing more then just wait for the end of pregnancy to see how their baby would be and what gender it would be. Technology has gone forward since that time and now there is a vast possibility for parents to know before hand any conditions that the child might have. However having this “weapon” in their hands does it mean that the parents should use it?

First of all, an overview of what prenatal diagnosis is is needed. Prenatal diagnosis is a way of checking how the fetus is doing and if it has any problems. These methods test for diseases or other conditions such as gender. The main reason of its usage is because of birth defects and genetic diseases that might be very hard or impossible to cure and might even leave the newborn in a very difficult position for the rest of its life.

There two types of testing that can be done on a fetus:
1.Invasive methods: These methods are called invasive because needles or probes are entered in the placenta. Some of the most known invasive methods are:
Chorionic villus sampling: which is about getting a sample from the chorionic villus, testing and determining based on the results the well being of the fetus. Since this is an invasive method it has a high risk of miscarriage and one of the highest compared to other invasive prenatal testing methods. •Amniocentesis: The amnion is the membrane that surrounds and protects the baby. Liquid starts to fill the amnion gradually as the pregnancy continues. When there is enough fluid a sample is taken and tested (since in this liquid there will also be some baby cells) • Fetoscopy: After a small cut is made in the abdomen then a probe is entered all the way down to amniotic cavity. 2.Non-invasive methods: These methods are less risky compared to the invasive ones since they only deal with outside screening of the fetus. On the...

Cited: Brock, D. J. H., M. A. Ferguson-Smith, and C.H. Rodeck. 1992. Prenatal Diagnosis and
Screening. Edinburgh; New York: Churchill Livingstone.
Newson, A. J. 2008. Ethical aspects arising from non-invasive fetal diagnosis. Seminars
in fetal & neonatal medicine, 2008 April, 13(2): 103-8.
Science Daily. 2007. Pregnant Women In The Dark On Prenatal Screening.
Website: Science Daily URL: Article read on March 26, 2008.
Zirpoli, T. J., and P. M. Blasco. 1988 Prenatal screening and diagnosis of handicaps:
Current state of the art. Journal of development and Physical Disabilities, Volume
1, Number 1: 69-77.
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