Science has made the countless amount of discoveries that have benefited mankind over the course of many years. Along with science, technology has also advanced and developed new machines in such level that have never been imagined. With the help of science and technology, doctors are capable of performing remarkable procedures on human and animals.
Not only living humans but unborn babies as well. It has become possible to perform genetic testing and prenatal screening on unborn babies. All pregnant women should receive genetic testing and prenatal care during their course of nine months of pregnancy. Genetic testing and prenatal screenings are cutting edge, allows to have low-risk techniques that assist mothers to know if their infant has any type of health concerns or disease beforehand, so they can prepare themselves as well as think of the next step for their infant. Background Genetic testing is a kind of medical testing that picks out modifications in genes, protein, and chromosome. “Although genetic testing can provide important information for diagnosing, treating, and preventing illness, there are limitations” ( ).
This discovery was made in 1950, when scientists were testing genetic tests for conditions, such as Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, and muscle dystrophy. The outcome of a genetic test can certify or count out any genetic condition or help figure out a person’s possibility of developing or passing on a genetic disorder.There are several methods that can be used for testing, such as molecular genetic tests, chromosome genetic tests, and biochemical genetic tests. Molecular genetic tests study single or short range strips of Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) to indicate variations and mutations that can further be led to a genetic disorder. A chromosome genetic test helps to evaluate whole chromosome or long-ranges of DNA to inspect large genetic changes.
For instance an extra copy of a chromosome that can be a root of a genetic condition. Lastly, biochemical genetic tests discover the activity level of proteins; irregularities can interpret differences in the DNA that can cause a genetic disorder. Genetic testing today is used by many companies, labs, and hospitals. There are many tests that can be used for rare and common conditions in a living organism.
There are many genetic tests that are available today, for example, diagnostic testing, prenatal testing, carrier testing, newborn screening, research genetic testing, pharmacogenetic testing, predictive and presymptomatic genetic testing, and preimplantation genetic testing. “Genetic testing is voluntary because testing has benefits as well as limitations and risks. The decision about whether to be tested is a personal and complex one”. There are risks of miscarriage, but it is extremely rare.
Other tests like blood and cheek swabs do not negatively impact the child or cause miscarriage.There are two major types of prenatal screening. The first one is screening tests and second is diagnostic tests. A screening test can help determine if the baby will have certain birth defects, in many cases they are genetic disorders. The tests add blood tests, a special type of ultrasounds, and a prenatal cell-free DNA screening. Prenatal screenings are commonly provided during the first or the second trimester of pregnancy.
“During your first trimester, your health care provider will offer a blood test and an ultrasound to measure the size of the clear space in the tissue at the back of a baby’s neck (nuchal translucency). In Down syndrome and in certain other conditions, the nuchal translucency measurement is abnormally large”. These screenings do not make a definite diagnosis. If the result shows a high risk for a genetic disorder, then the healthcare provider will talk to the patient on options for a genetic test to confirm diagnosis. Diagnostic screenings are usually the options when there is a problem in a screening test.
This test is the only way to be sure of a diagnosis. If the risks are increased, then the patient should definitely consider an invasive prenatal diagnostic test. Tests such as, chorionic villus sampling and amniocentesis have a small risk of miscarriage in a pregnancy. Prenatal screening is most commonly practiced in western countries. There are many different types of screening tests for the different type of patient depending on their pregnancies status.
They are: “Noninvasive Prenatal Paternity Test, Glucose Tolerance Test, Fetal Non-stress Test, Biophysical Profile, Triple Screen Test, Quad Screen Test, etc.” ( ). The different variety of tests is important because the patients’ needs are varied, and many tests need to be done so even the rarest case could have a successful pregnancy.ArgumentProOne benefit of getting genetic test and prenatal screening test, is that people have a better way to know how to take care of themselves.
Doing the test and getting information to help make informed medical and lifestyle decisions. For example, if a person gets tested and the results come back as negative, then the patient are normal, and they would just need regular checkups every once in a while, when needed, but if the result came back as positive, then they know how they can monitor their health and get to know some treatment options to care for themselves. Also, with the testing, patient can catch anything early rather than later, or even get to know their risk of cancer.An additional benefit of getting tested is useful for family planning. individual would know if their kid is more or less likely to have certain birth defects or genetic disorders, which are inherited from the parents or genes. If the couples know that if they have children and they have a low risk of any generic problem that would give them a sense of relief from uncertainty.
If the baby does have a generic disease, the family is able to make decisions for treatments and how they will be able to control. Not only does the test look for disorders but they can examine developmental delays in children, such as the reason a child is lagging in either physical, emotional, or mental growth.Another benefit of doing genetic testing is to use the information they have received from the test and prepare for the possibility of the child special needs. Such as, getting medical insurance coverage, taking out a life insurance policy on the child, and having a donation fund set up for the child. If the results come positive the parent can terminate their pregnancy due to Tay Sachs syndrome.
“Tay Sachs syndrome is one of the more detrimental diseases that can lead to a very short and very painful life and many parents choose not to bring a child into the world who is going to suffer and die” (Brewer,2018). The test can prepare the parent of what’s coming ahead and even if the genetic marks are clean in both parents.ConOne reason that genetic testing is a bad idea is that it can put someone in anxiety. An individual that is getting tested and then waiting for the result of the exam can put them through depression or stress. Also, the knowledge of having some genetic disorder can trigger a various reaction in the family members which could emotionally affect both the carrier, husband and the family members. It can also cause stress between family members because there could be some kids that are carriers and some not.
If the individual finds out that they are a carrier then it is harder for them to make decisions because then they have to think everything through. For example, knowing if the carrier had kids and then their kids would have a chance to inherit a disorder from the parent which had a disorder. Also, another reason is that genetic testing is bad because it is could be extremely expensive. Depending on the test that needs to be done, the price can range anywhere from a hundred dollars to two thousand dollars, according to the National Human Genome Research Institute. There is some test that is covered with some of the insurance plans, such as when they are babies usually is covered by depending on the states, if the test is not covered by the insurance, the price ranges can vary anywhere from 15 dollars to 60 dollars. Most of the time, one of the test doesn’t really show the entire body view of the baby. So, the patient would have to do a few tests for a clear view of what’s going on exactly.
Then more tests would need to be performed to have a clear view. Eventually, the pieces would add up to thousands of dollars. If the individual who doesn’t have the insurance that covers for the test, then the individual has to pay out of their own expense which could be difficult. Another problem you could face in Genetic Testing and Prenatal Screening is genetic discrimination. Genetic discrimination is when someone is treated differently based on a condition they have.
There are people in society that fear when they are getting tested. There is a federal law that was made called the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), so people would not be discriminate when performing the test. The federal law GINA was passed on May 21, 2008. This law refers to getting unjust treatment from the individual insurance policy or in a job setting.
The law stops them from being able to make a decision based on the genetic disorder they carry. For example, an insurance policy would not be able to make a decision on one’s eligibility for insurance or be able to change anything on the policy because of the disorder they carry. In the workforce having a genetic disorder can’t affect someone from getting hired or promotion in a job.
Another example is, if someone has down syndrome and they are applying for a job, the fact that they have the disorder should not impact in the decision of hiring the person with the disorder. ConclusionThe Genetic Testing and Prenatal Screening should be performed voluntary for every pregnant woman. The testing and screening performed can allow the individual to know what risk that could be possible if the disorder is present for the child.
The test can allow the individual to be careful during their stage and can be provided with the right treatment for the newborn. Even though you will have stress and have anxiety for the results to come, in the end, you will have a baby who is normal and disorder free if treated at the right time. The federal law, Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) protects the individual from discrimination so there is nothing to feel bad about. With the help of science and technology monitoring your steps for any kind of genetic disorder, it can help the pregnancy by perfect as possible with the right health of the newborn.
Overall, the genetic testing and prenatal screening is there to offer a choice of having a healthy or unhealthy in a patient’s future.