18-18 Segment 2: The Ethical Implications of Genetic Screenings on Children

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Genetic testing is the new frontier of the healthcare industry. It’s advancement has uncovered new diagnoses, treatments, and ethical implications.

Genetic testing can help doctors identify issues much sooner than with previous technologies. Certain indicators hidden in genetic code can diagnose diseases such as breast cancer. Increasingly, genetic testing is being used to screen for irregularities, and even identify increased odds of mutations occurring in unborn children.

This can place families in the middle of ethical dilemmas. For example, carrier screenings performed before pregnancy can tell parents the likelihood of passing on a fatal genetic disease to a child. If there’s a good chance, is it ethical to try to start a family?

Even though this can be an extremely scary proposition for parents, Rochman asserts that the more knowledge we can gain from this kind of testing the better. Although, she cautions that genetic technology is much further along then our understanding of it.

To learn more use the links below or buy a copy of The Gene Machine: How Genetic Technologies are Changing the Way We Have kids—and the Kids We Have.



  • Bonnie Rochman, journalist and author of The Gene Machine: How genetic technologies are changing the way we have kids—and the kids we have

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17-18 Segment 2: The ethics and impact of genetic screenings on children

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Science enables us to know much more than ever before. We can be aware of what disorders we could pass on to our kids and we can conduct screenings on children to discover irregularities in their genes. Such screenings can help doctors catch issues early but they can also put a huge burden on families.

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Click here for guest information and the transcript