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Science over Society

Introduction

            You are hired as a genetic counselor to advise a couple about the odds of having a baby with a genetic disorder. You order lab tests particularly amniocentesis to be done on the pregnant mother to determine if the baby has a genetic disorder.  If it is determined that the couple’s baby has a genetic disorder, would you choose the advice of the genetic counselor which is to stop the pregnancy or would you continue having the baby?

Analysis

            Amniocentesis is a pre-natal procedure which diagnoses the fetus for possible health treats. It is conducted through the insertion of a hollow needle through the abdominal wall into the uterus, and then an ample amount of fluid from the sac which surrounds the fetus is withdrawn for testing. Amniocentesis can discover chromosomal disorders of the fetus by testing the obtained fetal cells from the amniotic fluid.

Problem/Issue Statement

            If found out that the baby have genetic disorders, you as the genetic counselor would suggest to the couple to conduct some fetal surgery to alleviate the present genetic conditions of the baby or may give an advice of not carrying the baby anymore up to its term. Of course, the couple would then

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now make a decision of following your suggestions or still continue the carrying of the baby.

Alternatives

            If the couple would follow your suggestion of conducting a fetal surgery of the baby, this would impose health treats not only for the baby but for the mother as well. Surgical

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operations are very risky and may sometimes leads to miscarriage if an infection in the uterus may occur. If the couple would follow your advice of aborting the baby, they would be facing social and religious issues especially if abortion is not legal in their country. If they decide to continue the pregnancy, they would be having a difficulty of raising a child with genetic disorders and the child might as also get teased by fellow kids during his childhood period.

Choice of Alternative

            The couple should consider the suggestion of the Genetic Supervisor. The Genetic Supervisor is well educated in his field and knows what would be the best for the couple because of his expertise in that field. His knowledge may give solution to genetic disorder of the baby and with his education of his field, he can perform the procedure or surgery very well provided that all the technology he would be using are modernized and state-to the-art.

            The situation where the couple would follow the suggestion of the genetic counselor is a case of science dominating over the society. It is indeed a fact that science has helped our society in many ways. Example is that the introduction of the World Wide Web or internet helped in the easier dissemination of information to the society. The science of weather forecasting made the society aware of possible weather disturbances that would hinder them from their works especially in the industry sector. The science that developed our transportation system benefited every member of the society in terms of moving to one place to another with greater speed. Yes, science also comes up with problems like pollution but through science, we can also develop a solution for this problem like the development of clean technologies and the like.

It is proven that science has benefited the society and in these modern times of globalization, we should believe that science knows best for the society.

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References:

Cunningham, G., et al. (2006) Williams Obstetrics Twenty-Second Ed. Ch. 13. from http://www.americanpregnancy.org/prenataltesting/amniocentesis.html

Johnson, R., et al. (2006) Mayo Clinic Complete Book of Pregnancy & Babys First Year. Ch. 6. from http://www.americanpregnancy.org/prenataltesting/amniocentesis.html

Currie, S. (1999) Scince vc Society: Conflict Between the Power and the People. From http://www.sciencelives.com/conflict.html

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