genetic testing and abortion
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|Thu, 09-20-2007 - 10:54am|
A new study just came out in JAMA. Researchers in Israel screened 29,000 Jews of Ashkenazi descent who are therefore at higher risk for certain genetic diseases, for Gaucher's disease. Gaucher's is one of the more treatable diseases in this modern age:
"Among children who inherit two faulty genes, the most common result is Type 1 Gaucher. Half will become symptomatic at some point in their lives, when harmful amounts of glucocerebroside build up in the spleen, liver, lungs and bone marrow. Patients can experience pain and suffer from fatigue, although the symptoms can be treated with biweekly infusions of the enzyme that their bodies fail to produce in sufficient quantities. The intravenous infusions take an hour or two at home and cost $100,000 to $400,000 a year."
Over the 8 years of the study, one quarter of the fetuses found to have the disease were aborted.
What do y'all think? Too much testing? Or now that we've entered an age where we keep everyone alive with modern medicine and have therefore stopped evolving, is this the new way to weed out genes that would have used to fail to make it?
(Personally, I'm not doing any testing with my pregnancy... but I support the rights of women to test and make decisions as they feel comfortable doing. Perhaps if I were of a genetic stock that had a lot of disorders such as Tay-Sachs I'd want to test. Hard to say from where I stand now!)