What Is Huntington's Disease?

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Huntington’s disease is a neurological (nervous system) condition caused by the inheritance of an altered gene. A neurological disorder is a disease that can affect the central and peripheral nervous systems. Huntington’s disease is an incurable genetic brain disorder. The disease is an autosomal dominant disease, meaning a child only needs to inherit the gene from one parent to develop Huntington’s. Nerve cells become damaged when someone holds the HTT gene that produces a protein called huntingtin, as too much of this protein damages cells, and causes various parts of the brain to gradually deteriorate. Huntington’s disease causes changes in the central area of the brain, the basal ganglia, which can affect movement, emotions, and mental …show more content…

The test is called prenatal testing. Prenatal testing often raises many ethical questions in regards to the abortions of unborn babies, due to couples that receive negative genetic test results, and decide to terminate their pregnancy. Prenatal testing involves testing a fetus around 10-15 weeks into a pregnancy to find out whether it holds the gene that causes Huntington’s disease. Some prenatal testing methods including amniocentesis come with the risk of miscarriage, or of harming the unborn child. Amniocentesis is the sampling of amniotic fluid and the insertion of a hollow needle into the uterus to screen for abnormalities in an unborn baby. A couple planning to become parents or expecting a baby may consider prenatal testing if one or both has tested positive to the defective HTT gene, or if a family member has had Huntington’s disease in the past. Research has shown that around 90% of pregnant mothers would make the decision to terminate their pregnancy if they were to find out that their baby is at risk of inheriting a genetic disease. This is an increasing issue as prenatal testing is not 100 percent accurate. The bible tells us that life begins at conception, Jeremiah 1:4-5, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” Genetic testing, …show more content…

I believe that testing an unborn baby to see if they hold the altered HTT gene and are at risk of developing Huntington’s disease is unethical. I am of the opinion that a human’s life begins at fertilisation, and that taking a genetic test that could potentially harm the unborn baby is a very serious decision. Terminating a pregnancy based on negative genetic test results is devaluating the lives of babies, and creates this image that all babies should be without

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