The following case for discussion is from the eText, chapter 18, page 297:
Steven and Marisol are a young married couple who are concerned about passing genetic diseases to their children. Members of Stevenâ€™s family have been diagnosed with Huntingtonâ€™s disease, an incurable genetic disorder that causes cognitive problems, difficulties with movement that ultimately require full-time nursing care, and reduced life expectancy. Members of Marisolâ€™s family have tested positive for a mutation of the BRCA genes that are strongly associated with breast and ovarian cancer.
At a family reunion, they are discussing their decision to use in vitro fertilization and preimplantation genetic screening of embryos. Sevenâ€™s cousin, Valerie, is appalled. She is opposed to the idea of in vitro fertilization and to the entire idea of genetic screening.
Valerie says, â€œYou canâ€™t just choose the babies you want to have. God will only give you the challenges He knows you can handle. And if a child is born with a disease, your job is to love that child, no matter what.â€
Steven is speechless. But Marisol is not. â€œBut if we can guarantee that our child is healthy and will live a happy life, shouldnâ€™t we do that? We donâ€™t want to raise a child who is doomed to genetic diseases.â€
Valerie shakes her head. â€œThere is no way to know,â€ she says. â€œKids get sick and die. Some who have diseases get better. You canâ€™t control everything. And besides, that test-tube baby stuff is really expensive. How can you afford it?â€
Now Steven replies, â€œWe want to invest in this procedure now because it might save money in the long run. Iâ€™ve seen how much Huntingtonâ€™s costs a family â€“ so have you. Iâ€™d rather pay to prevent it now than have to deal with the costs later.â€
Valerie responds, â€œThat sounds really rude. It sounds like you resent people who get sick and need your help. The whole thing is very selfish.â€
Questions for discussion:
What is good or bad, right or wrong, with IVF?
If you accept the good of IVF must you also accept the good of designer babies or selecting the gender of the baby you want to have (these options are available to couples today: LINK (Links to an external site.))? Explain your reasoning.
Is it wrong to want to prevent genetic disease? Is it a wise investment? Is it selfish to want to control your childâ€™s genes? Explain your answer.