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Pre-Natal Testing

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Pre-Natal Testing

Adrienne Asch makes a valid point about prenatal diagnosis in Potok's book, "A Matter of Dignity: Changing the World of the Disabled". She states, "I dislike prenatal diagnosis because disability is only one characteristic of a person's life, infant or not (169)." Although I agree with her, I still believe that this one characteristic is so time consuming, costly and emotionally draining that many couples simply cannot take on the burden. I believe prenatal testing and diagnosis should continue to be used in order to help parents make an informed decision about their future.

When a couple starts thinking about having a baby they look at it from a financial and emotional point of view. Having a baby is a very costly matter, from doctor's visits to preparing at home for the new arrival. A couple also needs to think about how a baby can strengthen their marriage or tear it apart due to the stresses a baby may cause emotionally. Furthermore, if the couple already has children, what affect will this new baby have on the others?

Now try adding the fact that the baby has a disability. The cost of having that child raises, the stress of an even more demanding child is higher, and the baby needs so much attention that the needs of the other children are ignored. Many couples would question if they could provide a proper environment for this child. The couple needs to revaluate their lifestyle and see if they could handle the extra responsibilities. Many couples' lifestyles enable them to have this child, for others it is impossible.

Could a person call it ethical to bring a child into this world that isn't going to be taken care of properly, have all of its needs met, and looked at as a person not a disability? Personally, I believe it is unethical to bring a child into a world where its needs will not be met and where it will not be loved unconditionally. I stand firmly that it is ethical

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