Down Syndrome Ethical Dilemmas

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Ethical Dilemma Paper
The ethical dilemma that I choose for this paper is prenatal genetic testing for Down syndrome. Down syndrome is a syndrome that affects the chromosome 21, it is also known as trisomy 21.
Sheets, et al., (2011), explains that there are three types of Down syndrome: nondisjunction Down syndrome, mosaic Down syndrome, and translocation Down syndrome. The most common of the three is nondisjunction Down syndrome, it is an extra copy of chromosome 21 (free trisomy) as the result of meiotic nondisjunction (leading to 47 chromosomes). Maternal nondisjunction is causative in 90% of cases, and paternal nondisjunction is in the remaining 10% of cases (p. 434).
Genetic testing takes place between 15th and 20th weeks of gestation
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In spite of our best efforts, parents are not fully informed” (p.28). Patients often agree to prenatal testing without the knowledge of what the results could mean or because they perceive it as medically required as part of their care. Sheets, et al.,(2011) provide the following statement, “Genetic counselors should balance the negative aspects of Down syndrome, such as birth defects, medical complications, and developmental delay, with positive aspects like available treatments, therapies, and the ability for people with Down syndrome and their families to enjoy a high quality of life” (p. 434). In conjunction with that statement, all healthcare providers that are obtaining informed consent for the prenatal testing need to be just a well versed as the genetic …show more content…
Ethical dilemmas happen because of our differences and the inability to support different decisions and outcomes. Healthcare providers are caught in a web of ethical dilemmas, not only do they need to be in touch with their own set of right and wrong. They also need to ensure that they do not try to persuade a patient’s decision. The only way to handle these types of situations is through education. Knowing what information is available to aid the patient is a start in dealing with the problem. Referring patients to genetic counselors as well as a therapist would be the best route. No one can construct a decision such as the difficult one portrayed in this paper, other than the ones that are affected by it. As long as abortion is legal, then healthcare providers have to offer that option to these patients. But they can also provide them with other solutions, such as adoption. Each person perceives right and wrong differently based on their beliefs, education, culture, and experience. Healthcare providers are merely tour guides to show you the different routes that can be

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