• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Huntington's Disease and its ethics

Extracts from this document...


Huntington's Disease and its ethics By Henri Robben In "Genetics and Reproductive Risk: Can having children be immoral," L.M Purdy discusses the notion that the recent advances in reproductive technology impose a moral obligation on individuals to prevent the birth of "affected" babies that will not have a "minimally satisfying life." There are, however, several assumptions that the author makes in reaching the conclusion that having "affected" children is immoral. The author makes the claim that people with Huntington's disease are unlikely to live a minimally satisfying life. It is known however, that Huntington's disease does not take any affect until 40-50 years of age. Thus, those 40-50 years can easily be lived the same, without the affects of the disease, as those individuals who are not affected with Huntington's disease. Just as those without the disease have a satisfying life before the age of 50 so can those with Huntington's. ...read more.


If a mother has a moral obligation to avoid accepting the risk, not a definite outcome, of having a child with Huntington's, should mother who(although maybe wrongfully) had a few drinks be morally obliged to prevent the birth of a child at the "risk" that the child may have a defect? The author is assuming that it is immoral to accept the risk because the birth results in a "terrible" disease. Again, how can we be sure that result is terrible if 30-50 years of life are unaffected? Although, the child is unable to "consent" (because they do not exist) the author assumes that child wouldn't consent. Also if a mother who has the disease feels that her life has been satisfying thus far she should not be morally obliges to prevent the birth a of a child who could enjoy the same fate as her. While the author is correct in the assumptions that the risks and possible affects of Huntington's disease are notably greater than that of drinking or smoking, she assumes that this line can easily be drawn. ...read more.


Thus preventing the birth of children that could potentially have Huntington's disease is personally moral issue that depends upon the values of the individual parents at risk, not on the beliefs of society. If society imposed a law that it was immoral to have children if you are extremely poor because u can not provide for them and the child's life wont be satisfying, one could argue that with a little time the mother could move out of poverty and thus have a "good" life, or that the child may find life satisfying without much beyond basic necessities. The author claims that mandatory testing will be beneficial because it can help produce healthy children, yet assumes that all pregnant women at risk will get tested. If testing becomes mandatory many woman who avoid testing, either out of the fear of knowing if they have the disease or that they will pressured into terminating the pregnancy, many woman may avoid prenatal care all together, thus imposing more health risks on the fetus and the mother. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Child Development section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Child Development essays

  1. The main aim of this paper is to compare and contrast parental rights and ...

    In respect of the custody, maintenance and education of the infant, the adopter or adopters, of the child are husband and wife, he or she or they are in the position of his natural parent(s). RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF PARENTS TOWARDS THE ADOPTED CHILD As already, stated above, the legal

  2. The Ethics of Embryology.

    Artificially creating more than one embryo, screening them all for disorders prior to implanting as many as required back into the mother's womb, can avoid for instance the inheritable disorder, haemophilia or other genetic abnormalities such as Spina Bifida. Present pre-natal screening (screening a foetus in the womb)

  1. Children and the Law.

    In this case the local authority is making enquiries about Ellie and Daniel. These enquiries are being frustrated by refusal of access to them as the facts state that Ruth often refuses to allow social services into the house and that she has even threatened the social worker.

  2. Adolescent Pregnancy

    (Hao, 2000; Moore 2002; Lebelle 2002) In Alberta, the parents have to be informed of when the children are dealing with sex education in health class, and what may be mandated in the curriculum may not be taught in a catholic school, or in a religiously influenced school.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work