There are a variety of different disorders that are classified as genetic. This means that they can be passed on due to specific genes. Genetic screening or genetic testing is a process that helps rule out the presence of specific genetic disorders. This means that genetic screening is often performed on couples that are at risk of having a child prone to certain genetic disorders. This type of testing can be dome before pregnancy, during pregnancy and even after birth. When genetic screening is preformed before birth it allows for the parents to decide if they want to keep the child or not. This specific option possible through genetic testing is what creates the most controversy. There are two sides to this issue and each have their own reasons for their position.
Reasons for Genetic Testing or Screening
Even though genetic screening is often done on children before birth, it is a type of testing that can be done in many different circumstances. Some people choose to undergo genetic screening before marriage to ensure that they do not carry genes for specific disorders if they choose to have children. Others are looking to see if they can take proactive measures against specific genetic disorders by knowing the results of their testing. The reasoning behind genetic screening can vary and the controversy often lies with specific cases of screening babies before birth. Not all instances of genetic screening are wrought with controversy and debate.
Is Genetic Screening Ideal?
Determining if genetic screening is right for you is often a personal question. However, this issue has sparked much debate and some feel that genetic testing is unnatural. Before you come to your own conclusion on the topic of genetic screening it is important that you consider all the relevant information. There are two different sides to this issue and both have compelling arguments. By taking a closer look at both the pros and cons of genetic screening you can get a new perspective on the issue. Weighing the pros and cons against one another is the best place to start.
Pros of Genetic Screening
1. Learning Susceptibility of Fetus
Genetic screening allows for the thousands of genes within the fetus to be evaluated. This shows the susceptibility of the fetus to certain genetic conditions or disorders. The main benefit that genetic screening allows for is preparation for the parents. Parents have the ability to prepare ahead of time for specific genetic disorders or could even choose to terminate the pregnancy based on the results of the genetic screening.
2. Proactive Approach to Health
Aside from genetic screening on the fetus, genetic screening on adults allows them to prepare for future conditions. For example, if a woman finds out that she carries a high probability of being diagnosed with breast cancer, she can choose to seek out all available medical options before it becomes a health issue. Genetic screening allows for a proactive approach to medicine that can change the way some genetic disorders are treated.
Cons of Genetic Screening
1. Termination of Pregnancy Based on Genetic Screening Results
The biggest issue with genetic testing that many of those opposed have is the desire to terminate pregnancy after results. Genetic testing that is done on the fetus is designed to help parents prepare, but it also allows parents the ability to decide that termination of pregnancy is what is best for the child. Those that are firmly against abortion of all kinds do not feel that genetic testing on the fetus is natural or ethical. They have the opinion that it is God’s will for the child to be born and that genetic screening should not be a part of the birth process. Whenever pregnancy termination is a part of any issue it does rev up the argument a bit.
Another aspect of genetic screening is the fear that can be elicited by knowing the disorders that you exegetically inclined to inherit. This can lead to a social stigma or feelings of fear that can hinder quality of life before you are even diagnosed with a disorder. Some feel that knowing the susceptibility to a specific genetic disorder is not worth the feeling of fear that this will breed.
Genetic screening can be viewed from very different lenses depending on your stance. Having the ability to seek out proactive healthcare based on the results of genetic testing can transform medicine, but the ability to terminate pregnancy based on results is still the major concern that many have. The desire to undergo genetic screening is often a personal decision and there are regulations in place to monitor how this type of screening is performed.