Great minds are without boundaries. Research and the information available to us ensure the continuity of knowledge. Scientists pass on to their apprentices their discoveries and instruct to continue. This was not a problem until the fruits of their labor became an ethical dilemma. Genetic engineering, a great milestone, paved the way for cloning, stem cell research, etc. However, it also made noise in the religious sectors. Science said these are for humanitarian purposes, giving a child to infertile couples, preventing genetic anomalies through prenatal testing, etc. There is hope for organ harvest from embryos to cure cancer in stem cell research, but the religious side said it poses a threat to God’s sovereignty, tantamount to murder in many ways.
Genetics are offering people choices regarding reproductive health. Services being offered include genetic counseling, wherein a complete genetic assessment of your baby is done to prevent or to cure early any genetic disorders (Genetic Counseling) and prenatal diagnostic testing through chromosomal villus sampling or amniocentesis (Kaplan et al). Cons to genetic testing include the possibility of harming the child in the process of testing, spontaneous abortion (Kaplan). Although genetics give infertile couples a child, the process often entails choosing the “best” embryo (Ross). This means that not all embryos will make it alive and into the mother’s womb, murder for the religious sectors, but providing the best possible outcome for the geneticists. A question of familial connections and its psychosocial effect on the child is also a concern. There will be the question within the family on whether or not the child should now the truth about his or her roots.
As a society, there is no telling when we can deal with the ethical dilemmas that genetics raise. However, we are already opening our eyes and maybe soon our hearts. We have been very pitiful over those who cannot have their own children, or those who have children but are suffering from genetic disorders. We would want them to have happiness too. Humane purposes or not, it is helpful to those who can afford it. There will be consequences, but rest assured, we can see pass it as soon as we are already cradling a child in our arms.
“Genetic Counseling.” Medline Plus. 12 July 2008. U.S. National Library of Medicine. 6 September 2008 <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/geneticcounseling.html>.
Kaplan, et al. The RN Course Book; Preparation for the NCLEX-RN Examination. New York: Kaplan, Inc., 2007.
“Ross presents opinion on genetic testing of embryos.” 29 May 2006. Ministry of Health, Welfare and Support. 6 September 2008 <http://www.minvws.nl/en/nieuwsberichten/pg/2006/ross-presents-opinion-on-genetic-testing-of-embryos.asp>