PGDs and prenatal diagnostic tests are, at best, still faulty to some point. There are instances wherein false positives occur – a misdiagnosis which could lead to the termination of an otherwise healthy baby, or false negatives, like having a baby who exhibit anomalies which were far from what the tests have shown.
Orshan (2007) and Blackburn (2007) indicate that the said tests could only lead people to see a definite screen of what the tests could only do at this point of their medical advancement – further tests and studies could hope to further what they can do in the future, but for now, the PGD, CVS and amniocentesis are only limited to what they can diagnose and how they are performed.
The PGD is considered the more morally upright of the procedures that are discussed in this paper, mainly because unlike CVS and amniocentesis, couples would not have to worry about the implications in aborting a child within the womb if the child was “marred” by a genetic or chromosomal imperfection. It is a far cry from the time wherein couples could have children without worrying about anything to this extent.
They were mostly contented with the children they begot, and of course, certain cultures around the world practice moral and cultural binds to preferences of what kind of children they could or could not have, the level of education that they could give to their children, the level of how equal boys and girls are in their culture, and maybe a lot of others more.
They have their own “code” to follow if a child is imperfect – one would only need to look at certain baby exposing cultures in the ancient world – and of course, some are due to cultural and religious beliefs or economic conditions, and perhaps more. Of course, there are other religions which condemn the act of killing infants, whether still in the womb, or already born, whatever they end up being born as. Modern people also tend to lump several reasons into deciding whether or not certain events in their life should be ordered or should be left as they are, and it is the case with the use of PGD.
The PGD is now used in some countries, especially in cases wherein they needed to correct aneuploidy or the abnormal number of chromosomes in an individual, or even in determining the “genetic makeup” of children – giving children several physical or intellectual characteristics that the parents would like them to have (Harper & Doshi 2004). In this respect, the idea of when a life begins as well as the general, natural way of ordering events – such as determining the beginning of human life and making it completely unique than all other babies born on that day, or ever – is being challenged by the idea of the PGD.
Cherry and Jacob (2004) agree that this conflict between the natural order and “unnatural” order posed by the latest medical breakthroughs is still ongoing, and is shared by all modern medical technologies which seek to enhance human lives better. The PGD also goes against the debate which abortion also goes up against – the beginning of life. Health professionals would always be bombarded with the same questions that people are also up against in their daily lives, which always boil down to what is right or wrong, and in determining who lives or who dies.
The PGD is meant to be used as “testers” which seek to “weed out” imperfections found in a group of cells within the first few days of fertilization. A fertilized egg cell of the mother already starts to show signs of life, which could be determined because of the fact that it has already began to develop the “bases” against which higher level cells, tissues, organs and whole internal body systems and the whole human being would derive from.
Discarding them because of failure would mean discarding of “life”, if it would be taken from this perspective, the same way that abortion takes away what other people would consider as “life” – it could mean for them that “life” would be the time the fetus starts to have a beating heart, “life” could mean when the fetuses have started to show signs of recognizable human features, or others more.
Also, the “unnatural” pre-planning of how their children would look like and fare like in life adds up to even more conflict in accepting such procedures – they may be for the sake of preparing their children, or whatever else they believe, but its gravity is almost the same as going against the perceived idea of “life” by the author. What They Believe – Society The PGD is seen to be a convenience made by modern medicine in order to – as said time and again – find out serious disorders which could affect the child’s life in the near future.
A person’s right to believe what they deem as right and wrong is determined by his religious beliefs, moral stand on the issue, how they are affected by it, and several other factors. The use of the PGD lessen the moral strain that some couples might have in terminating a pregnancy which could result in a child with defects, and when the procedures are considered “successes”, couples could hope to get a normal, healthy infant.
However, as what was already suggested by Orshan (2007), the PGD could only be as good as the technical competence of the embryologist, and is still limited in what it can do in determining other diseases, as well as misdiagnosis, the last 2 traits which it shares with CVS and amniocentesis. Understanding of the Author and Inconsistencies of Society Medicine is used to extend lives, and make lives better.
However, with the introduction of genetic engineering technologies, and of course the PGD, it leads to several inconsistencies in understanding the whole issue and leaving much to be desired as they will by people who take them through moral/religious perspectives (PGD is wrong) or through practical perspectives (PGD is right). Several forms of inconsistencies could also be traced to different takes of an ideal through different cultures – some may be similar, some may have the exact same perspective, some take an entirely new perspective.
It is the same with PGD. While on one hand it actually helps in determining genetic and chromosomal anomalies which could be detected firsthand and “weeded out” and would not end until the “perfect” unaffected embryo is “prepared” and so put in the mother’s womb, it is due to several perspectives of when life is formed and how life should be “ordered” that the inconsistencies stem out.
The extent to which science should improve life, end life and dictate life are questions which still remain unanswered and would still ensue, and several inconsistencies marked by these different attitudes would make the debate go on much longer, especially if ethical groups and some world religions are to intervene. The author shares this same inconsistency, mainly because of the said perspective about “life” and the “unnatural” ordering of events due to genetic “pre-planning”, but is alright with the notion of detecting genetic and chromosomal defects early.
This has not been an issue of religion with the author – rather, more of the respect for what is already there, which the author believes should be left as is, because something might still go irreparably wrong in one way or the other, even in the most controlled situations. Strengthening Of Author’s Beliefs Medicine should first and foremost used in order to lengthen lives, or help in improving it. While other people might debate that science in some ways only rediscover what is already there and use it to help people, there are still some events in a person’s life which should be respected for what they are.
The PGD technology is still quite young and still has a lot to go for its many techniques to be perfected – and there may be yet still some new techniques to be discovered in the future. Pregnancy is supposed to be one of those events which should be respected and praised, mainly because another human life is created, out of a billion possibilities that it could have not happened due to the woman’s hormonal imbalance, genetic defect, etc.
Scientists and genetic engineers could possibly coordinate with these natural occurrences in order to save human lives, but there are several instances that modern science has reached the thin line of acceptable and unacceptable when it appears to tamper with what is naturally set in place already. This has been observed in cases modern technology has tampered with Mother Nature and the Earth is now showing signs of what modern technological intervention had done to it, and also cases in which the human society has become sensitive to or desensitized throughout their years on the planet due to increasingly modern ways of viewing things.
The debate of PGD technology, especially so in the event of the use of the said technology in order to “manufacture” babies in a “made to order” scale, could be seen as something which should be regulated. It is not just because of its “unnaturalness” that it should be identified with; it is also due to the fact that it may have adverse, irreparable effects that could happen in the near future.
The human DNA could be mixed and matched in a lot of many different ways, and in “tampering” with some already natural codes found within, it could lead to some unforeseen, potential genetic disaster for humankind. This is also same for the “life” aspect of the PGD problem – people have different takes to different ideas, and so inconsistencies would still continue, and with new evolving genetic technologies still waiting to be discovered, still more and more ethical setbacks will arise (Bennett 2008).
Because of this, the author remains firm in the respect for natural order, with still some inconsistencies setting in mainly because of the author’s belief in medicine – mainly, as long as medicine is doing its job of helping people, in certain circumstances, then the author has no qualms about using a procedure such as PGD. REFERENCES: Bennett, B. (2008) Health Law’s Kaleidoscope: Health Law Rights In A Global Age. Surrey, UK: Ashgate Publishing. Blackburn, S. T. (2007) Maternal, Fetal & Neonatal Physiology: A Clinical Perspective. London: Saunders. Cherry, B. , & Jacob, S. R.
(2004) Contemporary Nursing: Issues, Trends & Management. London: Mosby. Harper, J. C. , & Doshi, A. (2004) Micromanipulation: Biopsy. In D. K. Gardner, M. Lane & A. J. Wilson (Eds. ), A Laboratory Guide To The Mammalian Embryo (pp. 99 – 102). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Orshan, S. A. (2007) Maternal, Newborn And Women’s Health Nursing: Comprehensive Care Across The Life Span. Hagerstown, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. IMAGE Figure 1. Orshan, S. A. (2007) Maternal, Newborn And Women’s Health Nursing: Comprehensive Care Across The Life Span. Hagerstown, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.