Blood test for Downs creates ethical debate

Discussion in 'Health and Lifestyle' started by Shadow, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. Shadow
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    Interesting article...


    Blood test for Down syndrome creates ethical debate


    Snip...

    Companies are racing to market a more accurate blood test than those available now that could spare many women the need for an amnio or CVS. It would retrieve fetal DNA from the mother's bloodstream. And the answer could come before the pregnancy is obvious to others. For some women, that might mean abortion is a more tenable choice. For others it could be a mixed blessing.

    Snip...

    A diagnosis before birth can pose a difficult challenge for couples as they decide whether to continue the pregnancy. It's not only about child-rearing, but also about what happens as the child grows into an older adult and may need care that the aging parents struggle to provide, says Dr. Mary Norton, a Stanford University professor of obstetrics and gynecology.

    Snip...

    Since the new blood test could deliver an answer so early — before a pregnancy is showing or the baby is kicking — it might make getting an abortion easier, several observers said. Women haven't bonded so much, and "they wouldn't have to explain to as many people," said Christie Brooks, who moderates an online support group for women who've gotten abortions for medical reasons.

    "No one needs to know you're pregnant," said Skotko. "Maybe you haven't even told your husband."

    Skotko said he respects that a woman's right to continue or terminate a pregnancy is a personal one for couples. But he's concerned that in the case of Down syndrome, many women may be getting bad information about what having the baby would mean. And if the new test became routine it would only exacerbate that problem, he said.

    Studies show medical students are poorly trained about people with disabilities and that some doctors who make a prenatal diagnosis emphasize negative information about the condition, he said.


    Blood test for Down syndrome creates ethical debate - Health - Pregnancy - msnbc.com
     
  2. Skull Pilot
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    Skull Pilot Platinum Member

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    Why is it unethical for people not to want to have a defective child?
     
  3. California Girl
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    Define 'defective'. I have two downs sydrome kids in my family. They are not 'defective', they are people - bright, funny, gentle, self sufficient, kind people. They are no more 'defective' than you or I.
     
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  4. Two Thumbs
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    So modern medicine in America is going to make it ok to kill people they think are less than perfect.

    Wow, this is awesome.

    So when do we go to the mental wards and start "helping" those people "move on"?
    There's a lot of people in nersing homes to that aren't perfect anymore, I'm sure many families would be happy to cover the cost of a single shot to end the medical condition of old age.

    How very Spartan of us.
     
  5. R.D.
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    It's not, nice dodge though.
     
  6. Anachronism
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    WOW. A-FRIGGIN-MAZING.

    The very idea that an individual would terminate a less-than-perfect pregnancy is abhorant to me; as it should be to everyone. I say that as someone whose parents had it suggested to them that they might want to put ME up for adoption (or terminate the pregnancy) because I happen to have a significant birth defect that could have been life-altering. It's a CHILD, not a CHOICE, people. What's next?.... designer babies?.... Oh, this one didn't have blue eyes so we aborted it. This one was going to be blonde and we want a brunette.

    WHEN THE HELL DID WE BECOME GODS, TO MAKE DECISIONS LIKE THAT?!?!?!?!
     
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  7. California Girl
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    Apparently, we must have 'perfect people' only. I can't wait for the definition of 'defective'... and, if we're lucky, we'll get a definition of 'perfect' to maintain an acceptable level of human being.

    Sad.
     
  8. Anachronism
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    Not just students, and it's not just children. I ROUTINELY have to explain what Sturge-Weber Syndrome is to members of the medical profession. Whenever I end up in the ER at one of the local hospitals they ask if they can bring all the residents in to see me and in probably eight to ten visits to that ER over the years, only ONE resident has correctly recognized the potential for SW when looking at me.

    Now, I'm one of the fortunate ones. While I have every classic SW sign (which are much more than just the birthmark), I'm also the exception to almost every rule about SW patients. I graduated high school. I graduated college. I hold a job (and one in a technical field). I live on my own. These are things most SW patients don't do.

    Who is a parent to say that THEIR child won't be the exception to the rules? Who is that parent to say that their child won't be the one whose situation unlocks the key to ending the disease for everyone?
     
  9. xsited1
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    One of my sisters has a child with Down Syndrome. She elected not to have the Amniocentesis test because of the small risk in a miscarriage. When she found out just after birth, she wished she'd had the test. Not because she would've considered abortion, but because she would have been prepared for the emotional trauma she endured.
     
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  10. jillian
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    why is it creating an "ethical debate"? the anti-choicers may be creating a debate, but really, we've always been able to do genetic testing and have a result within the guidelines of roe v wade.

    non-issue, imo. and too bad if the anti-choicers are cranky.
     

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