This news story brought back flash backs from two women in my family who were both put through the ringer over prenatal tests that raised alot of concern and anguish...only to result in healthy babies. I see parallels between these tests and microscopes from 100 years ago. You see things never before possible and it all looks very scary. But of course, we now know that not all bacteria is bad...
New prenatal tests raise concerns
October 27, 2008
WASHINGTON - Doctors have started using powerful new DNA tests to screen fetuses for a wider range of genetic abnormalities, spotting more problem pregnancies early but stirring fears that the results will increase abortions as well as confuse and needlessly alarm many couples.
The tests, which use "gene chips" to detect much subtler chromosomal variations than standard prenatal testing can, have also triggered complaints that they mark another step toward a society that seeks to weed out aberrations in the quest for the perfect child.
Proponents maintain that the technique, called comparative genomic hybridization, allows couples to target genetic-based illnesses, which can alleviate their worries in some cases and in others identify abnormalities soon enough to terminate the pregnancy or prepare to care for an afflicted baby.
But critics say the tests have not been thoroughly validated and threaten to produce a flood of murky, misleading results that will subject emotionally vulnerable couples to unnecessary anxiety, perhaps prompting some to abort healthy pregnancies.
Some worry that they could be used to hunt for the rapidly growing list of genetic markers that merely signal an increased risk for cancer, diabetes, mental illness, obesity, addiction, and other conditions later in life.