Genetic Testing

analytical Essay
1262 words
1262 words

Genetic Testing The technologies available to aid in diagnosing genetic diseases and disorders have developed extraordinarily over the years. As a result, one topic up for discussion is how the technology should be used in the realm of diagnosing children before birth, mainly, using it to selectively screen embryos for genetic diseases. Leon Kass is one author who opposes genetic testing. He provides two main reasons why he feels it is morally wrong to use genetic screening on unborn children. This paper will examine the main reasons Kass provides for his viewpoint, critically evaluate them, and show that Kass is correct in his first main point, while his second main point may have broad merit, but is incorrect in his detailed application. There are several different techniques to conduct genetic testing. Leon Kass opposes the two primary methods. First, there is pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. In this method, an embryo that has been created in a laboratory, using an egg and sperm from the prospective parents, is screened for the genetic disease that the parents are concerned about. Any embryos that are revealed to either carry the gene, or actually be affected by the disease are rejected from the pool of acceptable embryos. The embryos that are free from the disease of concern are then available to be implanted into the mother. The second main technique involves an embryo that was conceived through natural means and is in utero. In that case, an amniocentesis is done to remove cells from the developing fetus. The cells are then screened for the genetic disease(s) of interest, and the parents then must choose how to proceed with the pregnancy, if the results indicate that their child will likely be affected. Leon Kass has ... ... middle of paper ... ...s the biggest smile on my face. He really loves interacting with everyone.” Since she has made an emotional connection to the afflicted child, she now clearly groups the boy and the illness as two separate items. Henry may have Down’s syndrome, but in her mind, it no longer defines him. Kass makes the incorrect assumption that people won’t change their descriptions based on their contact or knowledge of the illness. Overall, Leon Kass presents a strong and convincing argument against genetic testing. He provides several clear examples of how those suffering from genetic diseases are later selected against will suffer significant emotional distress, as well as social alienation. Although he puts too much emphasis on the way individuals phrase possession and identity, he is correct that it is common to group an affected individual and their illness together as one.

In this essay, the author

  • Opines that those affected with down's syndrome will suffer tremendously, including socially and emotionally. it is a chromosomal abnormality that results from faulty eggs or sperm.
  • Argues that kass's second point is that we easily slide from possession to identity when we describe an individual, but he is wrong about the reasons behind it.
  • Analyzes leon kass' persuasive argument against genetic testing. he provides examples of how those suffering from genetic diseases are later selected against will suffer significant emotional distress and social alienation.
  • Explains that leon kass opposes the use of genetic screening on unborn children.
  • Analyzes how kass believes genetic testing is morally wrong. he believes that children born with a genetic disorder will be treated differently by their parents and others.
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