Genetic testing is the analysis and examination of DNA, which is a line of code carrying instructions of your body’s function. Genetic testing reveals changes in the genes, usually things that will cause diseases and illnesses. Just because genetic testing provides a window of opportunity to prepare yourself from diseases, it cant really prevent an illness in some cases because it often really does nothing but give you a “maybe, maybe not”. (genome. gov) Tay-Sachs disease is a disease that occurs around the age of 6 months and almost always results in death at age 4.
It causes deterioration of the brain caused by harmful amounts of cell membrane enter the brains never cells. Leading to death of the cells. Currently, there is no known cure or prevention of the disease. Because of how rare the disease is, being only 16 cases a year (kidshealth. org) this will cause the testing for this disease to be even less reliable. Science is there to help parents of soon to be Tay-Sachs children to be prepared for the problem. Whether or not Tay-Sachs will occur to a child can be detected while the baby is still inside the mother.
This is known as prenatal testing. This way is more contriver because it is like abortion, parents are making choices for someone who is not yet born, and this causes a lot of ethical conflicts. (jscholarship. library. jhu. edu) Sometimes an unborn baby’s problems are something that can be recognized before the baby is born, while it is still inside the mother. In these cases, doctors can prepare a surgery as soon as the baby comes out and is born, if the problem is small and fixable.
This also gives the mother and father of the baby a choice to terminate the pregnancy if they do not feel comfortable with having the responsibly of a child with genetic problems. Parents do it for not just their own sake, but sometimes they don’t want the child to suffer with the problems that comes with having genetic defects. There is often support from counseling session where they can help the parents make a final decision. Anxiety caused by the results is said to be the biggest disadvantage of genetic testing.
The problem with genetic testing is that the tests are not completely accurate. The baby does not necessarily have to have diseases just because it carries it. This raises a lot of concerns about the accuracy of genetic testing. Genetic testing is also not government regulated what so ever, so you cannot be guaranteed conclusive results, and when you get them, how do you know that your results will be stored securely and private. (genome. gov) Performing prenatal testing causes a lot of ethical issues to not only religious groups but also, to some extent, human rights.
Because the baby is not born yet, it is to some people immoral that a baby’s life should be chosen for them. Others believe that a child’s short life is a life that there is not worth living due to all the incredible amount of pain that a child goes through during diseases such as Tay-Sachs disease. A great deal of religious people have a problem with genetic testing, just like they would about abortion and contraceptives, doctors are according to religious people “playing god” by reading and analyzing “his secret DNA code”.
Also people believing in destiny and thing such as that will also find it offending. (kingjamesbibleonline. org) Not only ethical issues start to pop up when the discussion of prenatal testing for diseases such as Tay-Sachs are discussed. It is a very expensive process and can cost up to 2000 dollars. (amazingpregnancy. com) Because of this extremely expensive process, it discriminates against the mothers and fathers who cannot afford genetic testing.
This can cause trouble if the future presents the public with genetic testing being very common since many will not be able to afford it. “The Pros and Cons of Prenatal Genetic Testing. ” The Pros and Cons of Prenatal Genetic Testing. N. p. , n. d. Web. 14 Apr. 2013.
Chakravarti, Aravinda, PH. D. “Reproductive Genetic Testing: Issues and Options for Policymakers. ” Genetics and Public Policy Center. Institute of Genetic Medicine, 2004. Web. 31 Mar. 2013. . “Gene Testing. ” Gene Testing. N. p. , n. d. Web. 1 Apr. 2013.