Genomic tools will test our resolve to remain flawed

Most Canadian women who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome opt for an abortion, and recent advances in prenatal genome sequencing could offer hundreds of new reasons to end a pregnancy.

Yet there are no rules to govern how this new technology can be used.

Several medical technology companies are offering non-invasive tests to detect the chromosomal anomaly that leads to Down syndrome using fetal DNA recovered from the mother’s blood. Screening for Down syndrome with amniocentesis — inserting a needle into the womb to extract fetal DNA — is almost certainly on the way out now that a highly accurate test can be performed at no risk to the fetus.

Randy Shore Reports

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