Prior to completing this discussion, please read Module 3 in the textbook, view the Prenatal Genetic Counseling video, and review any relevant Instructor Guidance.
Our advances in genetics have opened the door to improvements in the quality of life for many children, and have also initiated many debates on the ethical and moral considerations of genetic testing and intervention. In this discussion, you will have the opportunity to demonstrate a foundational knowledge of a child’s developmental continuum from conception by addressing one of these debates for your original post.
From the required resources consulted, identify two genetic tests routinely offered to women during their pregnancy. Citing at least one of these or other scholarly resources of information, describe at least two benefits and two risks of each procedure. In your opinion, do the benefits of these procedures outweigh the risks posed to either the mother or fetus? Why or why not? Apply this information by choosing one of the scenarios below and address the specific issues presented backing up your opinions with reference from your sources:
Then, address one of the following scenarios:
Scenario A: Sarah and Tony are expecting their first child. When the doctor asks the couple if they are interested in having an invasive genetic test done, Sarah says, “yes”, but Tony is more hesitant and would prefer not to take the risk. What is the father’s role in this decision, considering the historical and contextual role of fathers in making decisions regarding pregnancy? What other issues, including family history, financial constraints, or ethics/morals, play in the decision of whether or not these parents should receive genetic testing?
Scenario B: Kerry and Greg just found out that they are expecting a baby. Greg knows that there is a family history of sickle cell mutation, and is worried. When their doctor announces a brand new experimental procedure to intervene while the fetus is in utero and correct the mutation, Greg is very excited. Kerry, however, is concerned about the risks and what it would mean to alter the genetics of their unborn child. Provide an argument either for or against intervening with genetic development prior to birth in order to prevent developmental, learning/cognitive, or physical disabilities. What about altering things like hair or eye color, sex, or cosmetic issues (like missing or deformed limbs)? At what point do we draw the line between improving the quality of life and incorporating unnecessary risk in the quest for perfection?