Monday, March 15, 2010

Autism Genes: Better Test May Help Screen Causes - ABC News

Autism Genes: Better Test May Help Screen Causes - ABC News

I always find myself torn with stories like this. The part of me that embraces science would prefer scientific ways to diagnose individuals and count autism rates. Yet, I also wonder what becomes of such scientific abilities. The issues that immediately come to mind include:

  • Would parents eventually use genetic screening to avoid raising children with autism disorders?
  • Would insurance companies cover these tests, possibly including this with other genetic screening?
  • Would the government, which must pay for accommodations, use this test for less than ideal purposes?

These are things I ponder. I don't have answers, but we are getting closer and closer to having to address serious ethical and social issues associated with genetic screening. We have already witnessed what happens with Down Syndrome screening.

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