EDST 391 Ethics & the Human Genome
Prenatal genetic testing
Becky, Jaclyn, and Nikki 's day!
- Background: Imagine you are a doctor whose
undergoes prenatal genetic testing of her fetus for
Down's syndrome. The test comes back positive for
Downs, that is, the baby would very likely have Downs.
She and her husband have an appointment with you today
to get the test results. You have been thinking about
what to say and what kind of conversation to hold with
them; you also reread Case studies in biomedical ethics (Day
15) preparing for your conversation. They enter your
- Questions: (you might jot down notes for class
- What does the ensuing conversation sound
- What ethical principles (from Case Studies) are you
relying on as you guide it?
- Background: The Hastings Center report discusses prenatal testing
from the perspective of "disabilities rights." The
disabilities community does not oppose abortion, but
only the selective abortion of children who would be
born with disabilities. The pages you have been
assigned detail the disabilities rights' argument and
then the counterarguments.
- What are the key ethical arguments, claims, and
counterclaims described in the article? Pull out the
essence of what's being argued back and forth.
- Drawing again on the article, how do individual
family situations affect calculations of what is
ethical or not in genetic testing? Feel free to
illustrate your points with the scenario in the
- If the governor were asked to draw a line
between genetic disorders that morally justify abortion
and those that do not, where should he draw it? You may
draw on this reading, your views, or any other source.
Be brief, concise, and highlight what is most
important. Lists are fine. Try to keep it to one to
1.5 pages single-spaced, total.
- There will be a short quiz at the beginning of class.