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Should or shouldnt

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Breast Cancer in women has 80% chance of developing when a faulty gene (BRCA1) is passed on from generation to generation. Men can carry the faulty gene and pass it on to daughters.

It's the way of things.

And so is the recent ability to screen embryos for the gene and potentially spare a girl the prospect of developing the disease in adult life.

The procedure is little practiced but has been used to screen embryos in US, Belgium and UK. A similar process has been used to screen for cystic fibrosis and Huntington's disease. A cell is taken from an embryo at about three days and tested. That's it.

Well, that is it as far as the procedure goes - and there are the issues that research groups are weighing. Is this the way of things? Should we or shouldn't we?

A friend of mine gets flustered when I talk about this and quotes the legacy of art, science and literature left by people who had debilitating diseases and questions whether or not we should interfere.
He asks me how I would feel if my embryo were screened and destroyed because of the hosts of predictable issues my adult body would turn out to have.

I tell him it is an impossible question because I wouldn't be here. He says "ah ha!" As if his point is concretely made. I tell him that I love life so much that I would make repeated applications for birth until I got through into the world. He says "You never would - because you life is to live with -----" here he lists my issues, at least the ones he is aware of.

It's an impossibly complex and tender subject. If screening were available at the time of my brothers birth, would I have selected termination if I knew he would be epileptic, mentally disabled and all the host of other issues he had?

Oh my. What a question.
It's the way of things - to weigh these questions.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

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