Ethics of prenatal diagnosis has been very controversial

In the past, the ethics of prenatal diagnosis has been very controversial because of the issue of abortion, which also introduced bioethical and legal issues. This report critically analyses key factors in the social relations of prenatal diagnosis, how technology developed historically and how it might be developed in the future by providing the following recommendations:

recommendations:

The state health organisations are responsible to ensure that all the doctors in the state are highly trained in undertaking Prenatal Diagnosis Treatment, and that they must follow the right methods in undertaking this treatment. It is also their responsible to take the risk when something wrong occurred during the treatment.

It is also important all the doctors provide all the information needed by the patients especially during screening because sometimes, screening results are needed before undertaking any medical treatment. The doctors are responsible to offer an understandable explanation to their patients of these following information before commencing the treatment:

-description of the procedure of the treatment

- the risk and benefits of this treatment if chosen to proceed by the patient

-probability of success

-alternatives that the patients have, for example other treatments etc.

-and any other important informations that is needed by the patients before undertaking any medical treatment.

It is important for the doctors to follow the laws and regulations, for example, the law of human rights, it is possible for the doctors to refuse the will of a pregnant women to terminate her pregnancies under unreasonable circumstances.

Introduction

Technology is the method by which a human being adapts an arrangement to meet their needs and wants. However, most people usually think of it in terms of its artifacts: computers, cellphones or other communication technologies, nevertheless, technology is more than these actual products. Throughout the 20th century technology has increased a number of various definitions and now comprises different classes, technology is now classified as an object, knowledge, activities, a process and a sociotechnical system. During the emergence of technologies, there are different types of technologies introduced and one of them are technologies concerned with health issues, also known as the health technologies. Health technologies are developed to determine or resolve health issues and advance quality of life. They do this by offering prevention, treatment and diagnosis of disease and relieving disability and functional inadequacy, one of the examples is the prenatal screening. The genetic testing of a fetus is called prenatal diagnosis or prenatal screening, it occurs when there is a risk of carrying a child with genes associated with a mental disorder or physical deterioration. Prenatal screening is perhaps the most controversial type of diagnosis because of concerns about abortion. Abortion allows pregnant women to end their pregnancies which also involves killing of the fetus. Abortion is a very controversial subject as many people believe that it should be illegal of the killing of the fetus and people consider unborn babies as human being. The most important controversy is concerned with the question who should be making decision in terminating unborn babies,the government ( healthcare) or the individual (Yaeger, 2008), under what decision it may be done or who has the power to terminate pregnancies

METHOD

I have researched the prenatal diagnosis controversy, its history and its impact on society. The data that has been used in this report have been collected from relevant and reliable academic literature.

3.RESULTS & DISCUSSION

Prenatal diagnosis is analysing for conditions or disease of an embryo or a fetus before it is born. The increase of having an access in prenatal diagnosis increases the host of legal and bioethical issues.

4.1 The public views on restricting PND

a.) LAW

Abortion has been restricted in some parts of the world such as in Australasia, North America and most part of the Europe unless under reasonably situation. One example is when the continuity of pregnancy will cause a high risk of affecting the mother’s life or health, and then it is legal for the mother to abort the unborn baby if she chooses too. A disapproval of a doctor to offer PND to a patient ( for genetic abnormality) can be viewed as a violation of the doctor’s negligent practices and duty of care. It is illegal for doctors to refuse any information obtained from the patient as it is can possibly be important especially for the patient’s health care. As an example, Pregnant women with a family history of haemophilla is believed as having the rights to get their male fetuses tested since they are in high risk of deriving genetic diseases (Rogers & Witakers 1992). A women should not terminate her pregnancy if its against her will which is required by the Human rights law.

b.) POLITICAL BODIES

There is also a will to restrict prenatal diagnosis by political bodies. The Canadian and Europe governments believe that PND should only be used when the pregnancy can cause a serious risk to the mother’s health and life.

c.) PUBLIC VIEWS

The USNORC ( United States Nation Opinion Research Centre) have surveyed 75% people who agrees that abortion should only be allowed for women with family history of serious genetic diseases. A recent survey in the UK has also stated that 87% felt that parents should not use genetic information to choose the physical and mental characteristics of their child – theres also a demand about termination of pregnancy based on non-genetic diseases. One of the examples is the recent survey in Finland which resulted that 1 out of 0 Finns would be willing to terminate their pregnancies if they find out that their child would be homosexuals (Hietala et al, 1995).

4.2 Ethical issues of PND

Prenatal Diagnosis has become one of the most controversial issues today, because of the issues of abortion that leads to it.

a.) DISCRIMINATION

There is a controversial issues in which PND can be discrimination, discrimination against the fetus and against with those who are alive that has the same genetic disorders ( Holtug 1997). Anyone who allows termination of pregnancy comprise a form of discrimination ( Savulescu 2001). Some countries in the world have the rights for sex selection, for example China and Korea, if women living in these country find out that they are having a baby girl, then they are allowed to terminate the pregnancy, as it is a law in China or Korea to have a male child. This is seen as sex discrimination for some people because being male or female is not a disease, therefore, the fetus should have the rights to live.

b.) HARM TO THE FETUS

Some parts of the world believed that the right the fetuses have is only secondary to pregnant women. However, it may have restricted rights, for example, the Department of Health have a restriction concerning of human embryos experimentation .A women’s request of termination her pregnancy can be refused by the doctor. It depends where the process of PND is requested at, because most parts of the world believe that there is a fetal right for the unborn babies, when requesting PND because of a little significance of genetic diseases.

c.) COUNSELLING

Counselling is a way of communication the information about the genetic diseases of a pregnant women’s fetus, which allows patients to make autonomous decision. Chadwick identifies genetic counselling as giving advise to the patients and telling them information about the probability of the fetus to develop genetic disorders and advising them the methods they will use if the woman decided to terminate her pregnancies. The duty of a counsellor is to help the patients decide and not make decision for them. Counselling is also the counsellor’s duty of care to tell patients the truth and everything they have to know before they make desicion, It is called the non-directive counselling. Researchers said, that there are more patients choosing the non-directive counselling because mostly scientists who developed this kind of services and that they are reliable, However , it is still required that the non-directive counselling respects the main decision of the patient.

d.) SCREENING AND SELECTION

It is important that doctors are following the right methods of screening, because sometimes, screening is needed before a patient can undertake an operation or any medical decision. It is the doctors duty of care to give the patients and explain to them clearly the description of the procedures, the risk and the benefits, other treatments that they may be able to do as an alternative, probability of unsuccessful and successful treatment. It is the doctor’s duty to give the all the information needed by the patient before taking the treatment.

5. CONCLUSION

Prenatal Diagnosis is aimed at anticipating or possibly treating the individual and social genetic disease of an unborn baby. There has been a big controversial about PND which arises the issues of abortion. It is also seen that technology is the cause for these controversies because many people argue that if there is no technologies as such, abortion will not be continuing in progress.

6. RECOMMENDATIONS

Health organisations in New South Wales have are responsible to implement the following recommendations:

The state health organisations are responsible to ensure that all the doctors in the state are highly trained in undertaking Prenatal Diagnosis Treatment, and that they must follow the right methods in undertaking this treatment. It is also their responsible to take the risk when something wrong occurred during the treatment.

It is also important all the doctors provide all the information needed by the patients especially during screening because sometimes, screening results are needed before undertaking any medical treatment. The doctors are responsible to offer an understandable explanation to their patients of these following information before commencing the treatment:

-description of the procedure of the treatment

- the risk and benefits of this treatment if chosen to proceed by the patient

-probability of success

-alternatives that the patients have, for example other treatments etc.

-and any other important informations that is needed by the patients before undertaking any medical treatment.

It is important for the doctors to follow the laws and regulations, for example, the law of human rights, it is possible for the doctors to refuse the will of a pregnant women to terminate her pregnancies under unreasonable circumstances.