Gene testing to helps "parents to be" avoid certain children

Horrifying news! This company will just be encouraging more UVF, abortion, and selfishness!

nytimes.com/2010/01/29/business/29gene.html?ref=technology

January 29, 2010
Firm Brings Gene Tests to Masses
By ANDREW POLLACK
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — The new movie “Extraordinary Measures” is based on the true story of a father who starts a company to develop a treatment for the rare genetic disease threatening to kill two of his children before they turn 10.

Now, a Silicon Valley start-up is making the bold claim that it can help eradicate that disease and more than 100 others by alerting parents-to-be who have the carrier genes.

The company, Counsyl, is selling a test that it says can tell couples whether they are at risk of having children with a range of inherited diseases, including cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs, spinal muscular atrophy, sickle cell disease and Pompe disease (the one afflicting the children in the movie).

Once informed, Counsyl says, couples can take steps like using in vitro fertilization with genetic testing of the embryos, to avoid bearing children who would have the diseases, many of which are incurable and fatal in childhood.

:mad:

My fiancee and I were talking about a similar topic the other day. What if there was a way to eradicate a disease ‘after’ the child was created? By that I mean a husband and wife create a baby the way God intended, then medical science could see through some sort of test that the baby was inclined to have leukemia and there was a shot that could be injected into the womb that would cure the leukemia before it ever came to fruition. Would you do it? Then our discussion went on to what if it was found out that the baby at Down’s Syndrome and there was a cure. Would you perform the cure?

In the end we acknowledged that there was a line between genetically ‘assisting’ to cure some horrible disease and genetically ‘altering’ to get rid of an unpreferred characteristic, but the line was so blurred that it became hard to see where right and wrong switched sides.

We were talking about this in my bioethics class yesterday. Obviously the whole IVF thing is wrong, but is it permissible (or advisable, I guess) to have the testing done so that you will know in advance how likely it is that your children will be born with a disease? If it wouldn’t change the way the fact that you would bear and love them, what’s the point? The only thing I could come with is that it would let you prepare, financially, emotionally, as best you can, ahead of time.

As for destroying “defective” embryos, I daresay the children whose father who worked so hard to save them wouldn’t have wanted to be destroyed before they were born!! :frowning:

So many huge problems here!

  1. How many perfectly healthy or "handicapped" children would be aborted (currently 90+% of down syndrome diagnosed babies are aborted)?

  2. What is the accuracy of these tests? When $$$ are involved, people tend to lie about the accuracy of anything.

  3. Since when did we appoint ourselves as God? We decide who lives & dies? Once you do that then the barn doors swing wide open & i could decide everyone in a certain category, let's say politicians or lawyers or men or humans should be eliminated because they should be avoided due to their negative impact on the planet & other people.....

4.** What happens when we abort the one person who could have saved the human race from itself ??????????????**

Perhaps that would be the perfect irony???

i was born with club foot (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Club_foot), an easily treatable deformity. i was born in 1956, the stone ages, & had to wear braces on my legs for a year or so & recovered enough to live a fairly normal life, yet this "diagnosis" today causes many abort the perfectly beautiful, innocent little babies!

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!

mark

wow...talk about when life imitates art, eh? Anyone else seen that movie "Gattaca"?

Exactly! How accurate are the tests? Probably, not very. Medical science moves forward but often moves backward too–look at the news about dangers from radition treatments and scans!

And even if the parents do carry a gene, it doesn’t mean that any child they conceive naturally will have the disease. And again, if the child does, it may not manifest in the most serious way. Down’s Syndrome children have a broad range of affects from very mild to seriously impaired and you do not know until the child is born and starts to grow.

And today there are so many more sucessful treatments for physical handicaps like your own and also school adaptions and other helps for learning disabilities and other issues.

Loved Gattaca! :slight_smile:

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