Genetic testing

Wed Sep 26 08:38:00 EST 1990

>>Should congress provide extra incentives to those parents whose genetic
>>profiles indicate their children will be healthy?

The problem with your proposal, as stated, is that if an individual
has a single locus with a "bad" allele then they should not
reproduce at all.  What about someone like Stephen Hawking?
Rather the focus should be, how can we prevent the tansmission of
the single "bad" allele while permitting the person to otherwise
reproduce normally?  Unfortunately, at present there is only
one method, genetic screening of fetuses and abortion.  I need
not mention the polical firestorm that would result if that
were proposed.  Even many who support the right to abortion
would object.  The solution is to be able to (1) genetically
"cure" the embryo with gene replacement (far down the road at
this point) or (2) genetic screening of eggs and sperm (more
likely in the short term and much more acceptable).  Thus, I
think you need to rephrase the question.

Sam Scheiner
Dept. of Biological Sciences
Northern Illinois University
t80sms1 at niu.bitnet

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