posted on Nov, 1 2004 @ 11:13 AM
Originally posted by Kriz_4
Couples taking part in IVF treatment are now allowed to have their embryos screened for bowel and colon cancer. Screening already takes place for
While this is true, this type of screening represents a whole new era of genetic screening. Typical prenatal genetic diagnosis (PGD) coupled with IVF
is for disorders that have an ABSOLUTE genetic link, ie: cystic fibrosis, huntington's disease, Down's syndrome, etc. However, this issue is not the
same, read further.
The watchdog said there was a strong chance of the genetic bowel cancer being passed from parent to child. If a parent is a carrier of the gene
there is normally a 50% chance it will be passed on to their children.
This is merely the chance that gene will be passed on. The actual probability of contracting and suffering from cancer is another matter entirely, and
is notably absent from the original source.
This, I can see, may become a serious issue, especially to pro-lifers.
While I am not pro-life, I have serious issues with this type of diagnosis.
In my opinion, broad acceptance or indifference towards these types of technologies will swiftly return us to our not too far removed eugenic ideals.
Who is to say what is a good gene or a bad gene? Scientists? Maybe someday, but these technologies, and our understanding of genetics in general is
still in it's early years... despite the rapid progress that has been made. The simple fact of the matter is we have no idea why natural selection
permits these 'bad' genes persist in the human gene pool. However, what seems bad on the surface is not always inherently bad. Sickle Cell anemia
for example lends a certain degree of immunity from malaria for the heterozygous carrier. There is evidence to suggest that carriers of cystic
fibrosis are less susceptible to typhus. Given this, who really knows why genes that may or may not cause disease persist in a population. The point
is that they DO persist, and they HAVE persisted. While I have a lot of faith in science, with respect to the selection of genes to be propagated or
removed from the gene pool permanently, I have a lot more faith in natural selection.
Please read the article and decide what you think. Is this a good thing or a bad thing?
IMO, it's something that needs to approached with extreme caution. As I mentioned this country does have a history of attempting to uphold certain
eugenic ideals. Interestingly enough, when the Nazi regime dragged the term eugenics through the mud last century, all of the eugenics departments and
facilities in the US changed the word 'eugenics' to 'genetics.' Furthermore, IMO, the growing trend towards blaming genetics for everything from
cancer to obesity is wrong. It completely ignores trends in occurence and incidence of these types of disease over time, and leaves an individual
feeling as if there is nothing they can do to help themselves. It's really the ultimate form of demoralization, telling some one they are doomed
because of their genetic makeup... we can't change someone's genome yet. This leaves on no options. How much more hopeless can it get?