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Genetic Testing and Abortion.
Question from katy d. on 07-20-2014:
I recently received an assignment for school that touches on the subjects of both genetic testing and abortion. (Although I am not required to include abortion in the actual essay, I feel obligated to do so, since leaving the topic untouched would appear morally neutral.)In the assignment, I am prompted to, as a physician, recommend one of several different genetic tests to an expectant couple, in order to determine whether or not an unborn fetus possesses a defect. The problem lies in the fact that most, if not all genetic tests used on unborn children result in abortion, since many patients would sooner terminate a pregnancy rather than bring forth an unhealthy baby.r How can a physician ethically, if at all, recommend a genetic test?
Answer by Judie Brown on 07-23-2014:
Katy

The problem arises with the manner in which the genetic test is discussed with the parents, not with the test itself.

A) The doctor could explain to the parents that there is a possibility of a genetic problem affecting their pre born child and that if it is confirmed by a test it will give the expectant parents time to prepare for caring properly for the child. This would be the moral approach.

B) The doctor could avoid suggesting that the parents choose life and instead encourage them to have a test so that the "pregnancy can be terminated" due to poor quality of life for the baby. This would be an immoral approach.

Abuse of genetic testing as rampant in our nation and that is due, in large part, to the loss of the sense of sacredness possessed by each person from creation to death.

Judie


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