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Evolution, Genetics, and Experience

Modern genetics can prevent the tragedy of a life doomed by heredity; embryos can now be screened for some genetic diseases. But what constitutes a disease? Should genetic testing be used to select a child's characteristics? If so, what characteristics?

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1. Modern genetics can prevent the tragedy of a life doomed by heredity; embryos can now be screened for some genetic diseases. But what constitutes a disease?

Genetic diseases/disorders can include single gene disorders (e.g. autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive, x-linked dominant, x-linked recessive, y-linked and mitochondrial) as well as multifactorial and polygenic (complex) disorders. (http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/single_gene/default.htm). Two other genetic disorders are chromosomal and mitochondrial. (http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/medicine/assist.shtml#disorders).

However, the ethical issue raised her is what diseases should be worthy enough to kill the baby fetus to prevent her or him from having a disease. There is no set guidelines of what diseases should be included. Therefore, it is a slippery slope. The pro-lifers argue that no reason is good enough to kill the unborn child. The pro-choicer, on the other hand, argue that they have the right to make a choice ...

Solution Summary

Modern genetics can prevent the tragedy of a life doomed by heredity; embryos can now be screened for some genetic diseases. This solution explores what constitutes a disease, and whether genetic testing should be used to select a child's characteristics; and if so, what characteristics should be included. References are provided.

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