Case Study On Huntington's Disease

Superior Essays
Area of Study 3 – Investigating an Issue

• How is Huntington’s Disease inherited and what are the consequences and treatments for this genetic disorder?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Huntington’s Disease is a specific neurological condition that affects the brain and nervous system. This specific disease is inherited by an autosomal dominant pattern meaning a single copy of the altered gene in each cell may cause the disorder. In most cases, the child inherits the altered gene from one parent who is affected but in rare cases, an individual who has the disease man not have with an affected parent. Huntington’s Disease is caused by mutations in the HTT gene. This particular
…show more content…
Predictive genetic testing will provide the parents with results that indicate whether the foetus has a high risk of being affected by or carrying the gene for Huntington’s. Parents then must decide whether to continue with or terminate the pregnancy. This is an ethical dilemma as many individuals argue that all life should be valued and cared for, despite the medical problems that may be present. Predictive Genetic Tests are also not entirely reliable and there is a small chance that the results obtained could be incorrect. Therefore, a parent may chose to abort the foetus that may have actually been born unaffected, as a carrier of the gene or with a low chance of ever developing Huntington’s. For couples in this situation, they must decide whether to continue the pregnancy or not, based on chance factors and without knowing the severity of the disorder. Many people argue in relation to when the foetus is considered to be alive and a human. Technically the foetus can feel pain 20 weeks after fertilization and predictive genetic testing is done between 10-18 weeks (depending on which type of genetic test the mother decides) however the results will be given to the parents a few weeks after the testing date and it will be a difficult and considered decision to chose whether or not to continue with or abort the foetus. Another consideration that must be addressed is the safety of procedures for the child and mother. There is a 0.5% chance of miscarriage for amniocentesis PGT and a 1% chance of miscarriage through CVS predictive genetic testing. Further ethical implications may include the stress for parents of facing the fact that their child may be born with a severe risk of developing Huntington’s, and the stress of

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    It can also be a hard decision to make in having to terminate a pregnancy because of a health condition of the unborn, or the unborn is not developing right. However, some mothers accept the fact their child could be born with abnormalities or a disability. It will be less stressful if the mother was educated and counseled on the risks preventions and maximize the benefits, to prevent unwanted babies from suffering from abuse or neglect because the intervention of the prenatal genetic screening was not performed, giving the mother options on what she wants to do with her…

    • 1170 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Amniocentesis could reveal certain genes, such as the one for Huntington’s disease, but if these genes come back with a positive result then the next step should be considered morally and ethically. The embryo cannot speak for itself, thus leaving the decision to the parents. It is burdensome to know that the baby will grow up to have a disease, possibly fatal, and not…

    • 2101 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The Plague Of Abortion

    • 1633 Words
    • 7 Pages

    That is way adoption is in this world. If the mother does not want the baby, then make sure to give the baby to someone that will take care it and that will love it. Now, if the mother’s life is at stake, then I somewhat understand why the mother has to have an abortion, but I still do not agree with it. I do not know why, but I just do not agree. I just think that the child should at least be given a chance at life and the mother never knows.…

    • 1633 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    For example, they might not provide all information that people want, causing doubts for patients. When CF mutations are recognized in parents prenatal testing can be done if the embryo inherits a CF gene. Ethical dilemma arises as couples in such situations may choose to terminate or continue with a pregnancy without having enough insight on the severity of the disorder. Prenatal genetic screening concentrates on personal decision making compared to supervision of analytic disease. Positive screenings conclude more specific tests to justify condition in embryo.…

    • 1066 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    By using this technology, the parents can ensure that their child is not going to be affected by the disease. Another reason for the use of PGD is if a couple already have a child who is affected by a genetic disease. If they want to have another child, it poses the risk of them too inheriting the same disorder. PGD can allow them to ensure that their next child does not develop this same disease which can implement a huge cost on the family, be detrimental to their quality of life, and…

    • 1240 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    However, as seen, along with this negative side of the prenatal testing, there are many positives for potential mothers. The argument then swings to who decides if a pregnant person should do the testing. Who decides what a pregnant person does with the results of the test? Should genetic counselors be more direct in their recommendations after positive tests, despite the limitation of doing so because of their professional value which prevents them from not being direct? In the end, who truly decides the fate of the fetus/potential child- the potential mother or all who have influenced…

    • 1340 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    If the individual does test positive for a certain genetic disease, this has no indication of the overall quality of life the person will live in the future. The choice for genetic screening may lead to reproductive decisions based on the genetics of the child and allows for parents to select for a better child. The choice to undergo prenatal screening implies that children with a certain genetic defect are less desirable and that the life of the child is somehow worth less and his/her life would not bring happiness. However, it would be unethical to take away the mother’s right to such services and abortion. The parents and the child would suffer, If the mother is not prepared or ready to take care of a child with genetic deformities.…

    • 898 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    They believe they should be able to decide whether or not if she doesn’t want the fetus. I understand this but are we really going to let people choose when to kill their baby? Once you are pregnant, there is already life. The opposing side believes that in the first few weeks of pregnancy, there is no human life which is incorrect. The baby begins life in the first week.…

    • 1326 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Nancy Klein’s “Abortions and Prenatal Testing” describe the use of prenatal testing to determine if a child will be born with genetic conditions, specifically Down syndrome. Klein describes the fears of parents who believe that with less children in the world with Down syndrome, there will be a decrease in the quality of life of those who are already living with the disorder. Klein also describes the fears that with less children born with Down syndrome, there will be a decrease in institutional support and medical funds for research. These fears bring up questions of whether parents have the right to have abortions to prevent giving birth to a child with Down syndrome, should society protect human diversity or encourage the prevention of…

    • 1106 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Along with preventing inherited diseases such as Huntington’s disease, PGD can also help parents with infertility issues or women who have had frequent miscarriages (Sermone). Many people who may wish to have children are unable to or chose not to because of these factors. Some parents with a high risk of passing down inherited diseases to their children may get an abortion out of fear. PGD gives these parents a better chance to avoid this. For parents unable to successfully have children, this also expands their opportunity to have…

    • 1052 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays