What are your thoughts on prenatal screening for genetic illnesses?

Do you think it's best or ethical to encourage prenatal genetic screening in order to select only healthy embryos?

Do you think its right that embryos with certain genetic illnesses and disabilities should be born despite a lack of quality of life?

I personally feel that its ultimately best to prevent children from having to suffer these diseases and to encourage parents to have healthy children. I'm not saying that these children cannot lead lives of some pleasure - but if we have to technology to avoid these illnesses then surely it is only moral to strive to give these children the best start in life as possible?

A vast number of eggs and sperm fail to develop anyway, outnumbering all the people that have ever lived. Is it not best to select the eggs ans sperm that can develop in to the child who can best enjoy life?

Btw Please bear in mind Godwin's Law.

Update:

An infinitely larger number of embryos fail are extinguished naturally. Why not ones we know will be incurrably sick their entire lives?

14 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I think this is one of the most ethical dilemmas we face. I know God loves every child conceived; but He also understands the difficult choices we human beings sometimes must make and forgives us when we fall short. I know first hand what life is like for a family with a severely handicapped member. I cannot harshly judge someone who feels they don't have the resources (emotionally, physically, etc.) to deal with such a situation.

    Godwin's law ?

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    I think that God is always fair and doesn't make mistakes. So, prenatal genetic screening is kind of like picking what your child will look like. It's an interference with God's plan. Not to get all religious, let me get to the facts. This testing is done similar to amniotic sac paternity testing. This when fluid is drawn while the baby is in the womb. This carries a great risk to the unborn child. Regular doctor appointments and ultrasounds are another good way to determine the baby's health. The best bet to make sure your baby will be healthy is to follow proper guidelines during pregnancy. Some people also do DNA analysis. This will elude to any issues which may arise. Blood tests come into play not only with the DNA but determining RH factor and any possible complications the mother may encounter, herself.

  • 1 decade ago

    My niece has Down Syndrome so we are all asked if we want the genetic screening.

    I dont think its right that anyones life be determined if its worth living or not based on any kind of genetic screening. I do think if a couple wants to be prepared in case of a possible genetic problem then they should get the test.

    It makes me sick when people say that those with genetic problems lives arent worth as much as those that are "healthy" My niece deserves to live just as much as anyone else and her life isnt any less valuable!

  • 1 decade ago

    I don't think it's possible to screen for every possibility of genetic defects. Case in point, my wife had what was called a Quad Screen with her last pregnency, it came back 1 in 11 for down's syndrome, they did an amnio, and told us our baby was chromisomaly fine. Surprise, she was born with Pfeiffer syndrome, something that unless you were specifically looking for, you wouldn't have found. It's a nice idea to only have healthy babies born, but I don't think it's possible given the vast number of genetic defects that you would have to look for.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    With the recent successes of gene splicing, I would hope a wanted child could be treated in the womb. I certainly would have liked to have that option in my own case, but I must live with a very flawed inherited central nervous system. I'd love to be off of anti-seizure medications.

    If I was told my child had Downes Syndrome, I would welcome the child. They are the most loving people on earth.

    Godwin's Law hasn't kicked in yet, but I'm surprised it wasn't use on you in the first few posts, for those who did not read your entire question!

    Source(s): Atheist
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    This sort of screening should be a law. Some genetic diseases are so debilitating that the "person" born is human in appearance only. The parents are then sentenced to a lifetime of caring for what amounts to a breathing vegetable. In many cases, births like this will lead to divorce.

    (PS - Thanks for making me lookup Godwin's Law.)

    Oh, and for the record, I am in favor of eugenics that will improve the intellect of our species.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Well, given that children born with the most severe deformities will not, repeat, will not live, it's better to know sooner.

    There are congenital deformities that are absolute horrors and absolute death sentences. Better to mercifully end them immediately than to try to keep the baby comfortably numb-- AFTER it's fully formed enough to feel it and AFTER it's actually born.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    As a species we face either a moral or a genetic horizon. I'm not sure which is better.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I think it is best and ethical to destroy a fetus with severe birth defects. The ultimate choice is with the parents, though.

  • 1 decade ago

    ideally people would choose not to have children with major birth defects/illnesses with poor prognosis/limited life span,much suffering- however we cant go and make abortions mandatory-

    it would be kinda Hitler like-abort/kill all the disabled

    I do not like amniocentesis-as this test can cause deformities

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