DNA Mapping of Children – Beneficial Crystal Ball or Unnecessary Inducer of Worry?

dna-mapping When pregnant, most mothers want to feel as in-the-know as possible. It’s natural to want to be prepared for whatever parenting might throw at us, so we spend hours poring over baby books, reading pregnancy articles, and talking to the lady across the street who tries to convince us that no-scream birthing is the way to go (um… yeah right.)

But how much do we really want to know?

Recently, “DNA mapping” of unborn and newborn babies is becoming increasingly prevalent. As this ABC News article reports, whole genome sequencing is predicted to cost just $1000 in the near future, and can give us a wealth of information about our kids’ health, both present and future.

{ MORE:  Fetal Genetic Testing }

How ready are we to know so much about our kids’ potential health risks? When we decide to have a child, we sign up for a lot more than just first walks and lost teeth – we commit to care for our children no matter what. Would knowing that our baby has a high chance of one day developing breast cancer really prove beneficial? Or would it have a negative effect on our whole parenting experience?

Personally, I don’t see the appeal of knowing all my child’s potential health risks, unless there’s something significant I could do throughout their life to reduce the chances. I don’t want to spend what should be treasured years of their childhood worrying that they might one day, regardless of what I can do right now, develop certain diseases and health problems.

This article from The Daily Mail notes, “Current techniques used to pick up genetic diseases in unborn babies require invasive sampling, which carries certain risks to the health of the mother and child. But early diagnosis of such problems can allow doctors to pre-empt whether treatments are needed immediately after a baby is born.”

This is what makes the issue so controversial – how do you determine whether mapping your child’s DNA carries a greater or a smaller risk than not doing so? Right now, we don’t have conclusive answers, but as our understanding of gene screening increases, I hope we will feel better able to make decisions about it.

There are definitely “pluses” to mapping your child’s DNA. A simple procedure while a child is a newborn, such as a cheek swab or a few drops of blood, could provide us with information such as the presence of an immune disorder, or how a child may process medication, according to this article.

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Scientists and medical experts continue to research how DNA mapping can be used to minimize as many heath risks as possible without posing any of itself. It’s certainly interesting, and I think we’ll be hearing a lot more about this topic in the future.

How do you feel about the DNA mapping of unborn and newborn babies? How much would you want to know about your child’s potential health risks? What if the risks weren’t preventable?

What do you think?

DNA Mapping of Children – Beneficial Crystal Ball or Unnecessary Inducer of Worry?

Samantha Shelley is a student of Communication and Advertising at BYU-Idaho, who also works as a copywriter for Soapbox Agency. She is an avid promoter of happiness, being active, and Taylor Swift. In her spare time she enjoys singing, playing guitar, dancing, building ponds, and watching videos of kittens doing adorable things. Though currently 21 and unmarried, Samantha plans to one day have a family big enough to sing in at least 8-part harmonies. She would also like her children to continue ... More

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2 comments

  1. KITTYNOLAND says:

    Wow! Playing with nature and God’s design is dangerous.

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