Argument Against Prenatal Genetic Screening

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Argument Against Prenatal Genetic Screening In this essay, I will argue that prenatal screening for disabilities for the intent of actively choosing to have a child without a disability is immoral. By disability, I mean the definition provided in a medical dictionary: “A disadvantage or deficiency, especially a physical or mental impairment that prevents or restricts normal achievement”. This does not include diseases that are considered inevitably and irreversibly fatal, nor does it include birth situations that are considered detrimental to the mother. I will use the term “possible child” hereafter to avoid loaded and biased terms such as “fetus” or “baby”. My argument is this: First, when one makes a conscious decision to have a…show more content…
However, the issue arises when the parent uses prenatal genetic screening for the purpose of aborting a pregnancy or terminating an embryo fertilized in vitro. Instead of using technology to be informed and prepare the best possible life for a possible child, the parents are choosing whether or not to allow the life of the possible child to exist. Third, prenatal genetic screening is an unreliable way to judge one’s quality of life. One reason is that it’s inaccurate, inconsistent, and incomplete. Prenatal genetic screening does not give accurate diagnoses of disabilities, but merely the probability that a possible child might have a mutated gene, which might cause a disorder. In his Second Edition Bioethics text, Lewis Vaughn says that, “…a positive test result (one identifying a mutation) does not guarantee the development of a genetic disorder”. And for more complicated disabilities that are caused by several mutated genes combined with environmental factors, the chances of an accurate test result are even far slimmer. Another reason is that an accurate and positive test result does not necessarily adversely affect the possible child’s quality of life. If a child is born deaf, he is living a life that he has been accustomed to since birth and is not aware of another way of life. His quality of life, to his own awareness and standard, is not affected like it
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