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DEaVF1 Chapter 4: Session 895, January 14, 1980 1/46 (2%) david suffering illness sins science

[... 45 paragraphs ...]

  1. Seth certainly touched upon a question that’s loaded with ethical and legal dilemmas; many of these have grown out of recent scientific advances in genetics. Some moral philosophers, medical geneticists, physicians, lawyers, and religious leaders believe that those who carry genes for serious genetic diseases do not have the right to reproduce. Others of similar background maintain just the opposite—that the right to recreate one’s kind is inalienable. Questions abound involving amniocentesis (examination of the fluid in the womb to detect genetic defects in the fetus); therapeutic abortion; artificial insemination; reproduction by in vitro fertilization; embryo transfer (surrogate motherhood); the responsibilities of the legal, medical and religious communities; whether mentally retarded, genetically defective people should receive life-prolonging medical treatment, and so forth. Years are expected to pass before our legal system alone catches up with the scientific progress in genetics—but, ironically, continuing advances in the field are bound to complicate even further the whole series of questions.

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