Thursday, June 5, 2008

Unnatural Selection: Chapter 3

Yesterday (Chapter 2) I hypothesized about the connection between the end-of-chapter quote and abortion. This chapter, titled "Choices," was heartening to read in that neither family featured even considered an abortion.

The disease: cystic fibrosis (CF), requiring daily chest/back pounding and enzymes with food to correct a bodily failure to thin the mucus in the lungs and digestive organs.

Family 1, devout Christians, conceived their first child who had CF, another recessive genetic disease. Since both parents were carriers, they had a 25% chance of conceiving any given child with both disease-causing alleles (forms of the gene). They wanted to have another child but ultimately decided against such embryo-controlling techniques as in vitro fertilization(IVF), artificial insemination, and the like. Trusting in God and deciding to take what came, the couple conceived again and had a normal child. (The woman was tested by chorionic villus sampling (CVS) as soon as was feasible.)

Family 2 took a different route for their second child: IVF. To ensure that the embryo had one or no copies of the CF allele, doctors took one cell from the early embryo and tested it. After being told that that early genetic test showed two normal copies, the woman refused further tests such as CVS, choosing instead to trust in the first test and not wanting to know any further.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice story, Hannah. I applaud both families' decisions, though I have to say that the fact that there would be any shadow of doubt that they would decide in this way is an indictment of our culture. There should be no question that murder is justifiable under any circumstances, even extreme ones such as this. It's great to see that these families' faith in God was rewarded.