Genetic Testing and Reproductive Freedom Essay

Genetic Testing and Reproductive Freedom Essay

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To many people today, the journey to personhood begins in the process of In Vitro Fertilization –IVF. The dramatic advances in this field has led to the ability for genetic alterations associated with diseases and other inherited characteristics. These two independent fields of genetic testing and IVF each present some issues that are technically, legally and ethnically complicated. Genetic testing allows for parents to choose which embryos to implant in a woman based on the genetic tests results. This has brought up a lot of new scientific, social and ethical predicaments. Many people have began to consider not just the implications of these new genetic diagnostic tool but whether core ethical and practical concerns surrounding IVF are really all that settled. There has been a major ethical concern given that a parent is in a position to choose an embryo with certain characteristics which has lead to parents with certain conditions like deafness or short stature to genetically manipulate the genome of a genetically health embryo to be like them (Shea 1987).
There has never been a generally accepted definition for disability. Not even a single model found in the disability paradigm has clearly defined disability. One definition has always been countered and over-ruled by another. However, there are some commonly used definitions describing disability. Some have described disability as the lack of an ability to carry out a normal function such as the activities of daily living. Others term disability as unusual physical appearance and unusual behaviour. All these definitions can however be challenged for they base their arguments on a single perspective like culture etc. It is at this time that the disability community defines its...


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... Benatar, D., 2010. Procreation and parenthood: the ethics of bearing and rearing children. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Boumil, M. M., and Hicks, S. C., 1992. Women and the law. New York: Wm. S. Hein Publishing.
Bromham, D. R., Dalton, M. E., and Jackson, J. C., 1990. Philosophical ethics in reproductive medicine: proceedings of the First International Conference on Philosophical Ethics in Reproductive Medicine, University of Leeds, 18th-22nd April 1988. Manchester: Manchester University Press ND.
Devlieger, P., Rusch, F. R., and Pfeiffer, D., 2003. Rethinking disability: the emergence of new definitions, concepts and communities. Leonberg: Garant.
Shea, M. C., 1987. Ensoulment and IVF embryos. Journal of Medical Ethics, [Online]. Available at: [Accessed 13 October 2011].

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