Ethical Issues Regarding Prenatal Testing

1498 WordsAug 6, 20146 Pages
Ethical Issues Pertaining to Prenatal Testing Rebecca Arsenault University of Saint Joseph Ethical Issues Pertaining to Prenatal Testing The advances in medical and scientific research have impacted today’s society by constituting cures and treatments for illnesses and disabilities. A woman can now have her unborn child tested for diseases and disabilities before the child is born. This testing is called prenatal diagnosis and has become increasingly popular. Regretfully, selective abortion is exercised when the results confirm an abnormal fetus. From an ethical standpoint, prenatal diagnosis as a determining factor for abortion is immoral. Researchers have suggested that using selective abortion can create stigmas toward individuals with disabilities. This in turn can cause the development of treatments and cures to be stopped. Prenatal testing was first used for a selective group of high-risk women, including those who had already given birth to a child with a disability, who were over the age of thirty-five, and who had a family member with a disability (Bell & Stoneman, 2000). Now any woman can take the test to confirm the health status of the fetus using methods, which include, screening programs of at risk groups and ultrasound (Campbell, 1984). These different types of testing have become common and can lead to selective abortion (Campbell, 1984). Using prenatal diagnosis specifically for selective abortion is morally unjust. A life is a life no matter the
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