How do you feel about parents who seem to knowingly pass on genetic deformities to their kids?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by tzhu07, Aug 3, 2015.

  1. tzhu07, Aug 3, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2015

    tzhu07 macrumors regular

    tzhu07

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    #1
    Let's say someone with a severe deformity or medical condition decides to have kids, knowing that there's a good chance it could be passed on.
     
  2. iBlazed macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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    #2
    Are they supposed to not have kids then?

    There's nothing to think about here.
     
  3. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

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    #3
    Who's to say what a deformity is. I suppose you support eugenics, a master race?
     
  4. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #4
    Agreed. This is a ridiculous question, @tzhu07.
     
  5. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #5
    [​IMG]

    you mean like baby arms?
     
  6. jkcerda macrumors 6502

    jkcerda

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    #6

    it takes 2 to tango, so it was a decision made by those who will be affected by it. their bodies/their choice.
     
  7. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #7
    What do you have against little people? Maybe your OP should suggest Huntington's Disease, which is inherited and a rather horrific progressive neurological disease. The decision to have children that carriers face
    can be a very difficult one.
     
  8. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    #8
    I can understand the op's question the example used is very harsh in all fairness.

    If I had something wrong that ment my children were handed a life sentence etc then I would have made a CHOICE not to have children.
     
  9. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

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    #9
    The OP didn't seem to care about medical conditions.

     
  10. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #10
    Close topic to my family.
    A relative's (no blood relation) father had Huntingtons, so there was a strong chance his children would develop it later in life. However, before his diagnosis they all (except the one who married my blood-relative) had children of their own. Once the father was diagnosed they each took steps to not have any more children. They don't regret having kids before they knew but they don't want to carry on... as it were.

    Huntington's is a horrible disease. I don't blame anyone for opting out of having kids, even if disease is the only reason. (I mean there are plenty other important reasons to opt out too)

    edit: a friend doesn't want children because she's worried about passing on her (for lack of better word!) mental issues.
     
  11. tzhu07, Aug 3, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2015

    tzhu07 thread starter macrumors regular

    tzhu07

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    #11
    This is my stance as well. I don't want to encumber my children with any medical conditions that may drastically reduce their quality of life.

    I admit using dwarfism as an example is a poor choice, since many of them go through life just fine and are completely self-sufficient.
     
  12. tzhu07 thread starter macrumors regular

    tzhu07

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    #12
    Sometimes mental issues and conditions can be just as devastating as physical ones.

    I remember reading that Sarah Silverman, for example, has said that she doesn't want children in part because she's afraid her family's history of depression will be passed on.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2005/nov/02/entertainment/et-sarah2/2
     
  13. Absrnd macrumors regular

    Absrnd

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    #13
    There is no simple answer for this.
    If one or both of the parents have a genetic "anomaly" we can't deny them having kids, it's not really up to us,
    But I would rather hope those parents would think about it themselves, and all the hardship and difficulties they had or still have in life, and make that decision to put their child through that !

    But sometimes, the urge of having a family, is stronger then sense can override.

    I think adoption would be a much better choice, then taking the chance of having a child, you know will have a lot of difficulties in life.
     
  14. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

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    #14
    The thing with Huntington's disease is that it typically isn't identified until the person's 40's or 50's, aka typically long after the prime birthing years. That's one of the most horrific parts of Huntington's IMO is that often by the time you find out you have it, you're already married with kids. If one parent has it I believe the chances of having a kid with it- 50% or 25%, but those are big numbers.

    I'm of Ashkenazi Jew heritage on both maternal and paternal sides. Due to thousands of years of intermarrying within a relatively small gene pool, there are a lot of genetic diseases within my people's DNA. I have friends and relatives who are Tay Sachs carriers who have had perfectly healthy kids. I also know a few people who have had kids with Tay Sachs (a neurological disease with a 4-5 year lifespan). 1 in every 27 Ashkenazi Jews is a recessive carrier. That said, the incidence rate is 1/3500 AJ's. There are many other diseases. Cancer is prominent. I had lukemkia, my sister had thyroid cancer (at ages 5 and 22 respectively). It's a fact people with my blood have higher chances of diseases than most other Americans. Do you think I should not have children because I'm at a higher risk of having kids with some disease?

    Given we're relatively new to genetic testing, it'll be interesting to see where things progress. It's not practical or affordable to test for every disease under the sun. For those of whom who know well the chances of passing down their disease, I think it dose pose a big ethical question. At what point is the affliction so severe that having a child would just cause them to live a miserable life?

    I don't think we can necessarily be the ones to judge unless you yourself have the disability.
     
  15. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #15
    The simple fact is that while we might consider it "wrong" for people knowingly pass on inherited defects to their children, and on to society at large, the only currently feasible solution is considerably worse. We can't deny people the right to produce offspring because they have a high chance of passing on defect A or disorder B. It's just wrong.

    The only palatable solution would be genetic modification, but even that has more than it's fair share of moral quandaries.
     
  16. iBlazed macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

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    #16
    I think we're overdue for some legal guidelines on this before it becomes common practice. I think human genetic modification for cosmetic purposes should be banned.
     
  17. unlinked macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    Many countries already legally forbid people from having children due the likelihood off passing on inherited defects to their children. It is just that the taboo is so strong that it is considered morally acceptable to do so.
     
  18. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #18
    Setting aside the moral quandaries, and even though we've reached the point where we could actually start to do this, we don't understand nearly enough about genetics to safely attempt this.
     
  19. zin macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Is it? It seems to be an unpopular opinion, but I don't think it is entirely objectionable for society to have some say over something they could be paying for unnecessarily for the entire duration of someone's life. If a couple knowingly produces a child with severe defects then this will require expansive health and social care, which in most countries is provided for publicly. It isn't just a moral question regarding how much say the Government should have, it's also a moral question as to why you would knowingly complete a pregnancy of a child that will be severely disabled, to the detriment of that future person. If anything I think that carries with it some selfishness.

    I think bringing a child into this world that will knowingly have severe genetic defects is wrong, but forcing a couple to prevent that birth is also wrong. Is it also wrong to impose a higher tax on people who knowingly and unnecessarily bring disease and genetic defects into the world? At what point does the altruistic taxpayer draw the line against committing to pay unnecessarily for the health and social care of people who don't even exist yet?

    Does it? If the efforts of genetic modification are to weed out disease and protect the public health, then is that really immoral? It seems the efforts of eugenics are generally tarnished by individuals who wish to use it to "weed out" more than just disease and suffering.

    There are many conservatives who say that people should not be able to have children unless they can afford it. Is it dissimilar to suggest that people should also not have children if they are severely disabled and highly likely to produce equally disabled children or increase defects in the gene pool? We don't unconditionally allow people to drive cars in order to protect themselves and other road users, why should we unconditionally allow people to have children if doing so will harm that future child and the public health?
     
  20. Technarchy macrumors 603

    Technarchy

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    #20
    What about heart disease, or being susceptible to high blood pressure or diabetes. Does that count?
     
  21. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #21
    As you touched on above, it's a question that has no right answers, no one path we can all choose that's somehow more humane and moral than the others. In this case, I think going with the status quo might be the most acceptable, since forbidding people from having children for certain medical reasons could lead down a slippery slope that's probably best avoided for the sake of society. Highly likely isn't a 100% guarantee. Greater chance isn't an absolute certainty. Should we the people have a say on who has children, and who doesn't based on something that may or may not happen, even if it is more likely to happen than not?

    On top of that, how would you enforce something like that?
     
  22. giantfan1224 macrumors 6502a

    giantfan1224

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    #22
    I have a friend that is a carrier for CF but didn't know until his twins were born with it. After that, knowing that him and his wife were carriers, they decided to have more children anyway with the chance being 25% of passing it on again. Their third was also born with CF. The chances of having all three born with it are about 1.6% (Their twins are fraternal, a boy and a girl). They're wonderful kids and their parents are extremely dedicated with their treatment and also with helping these kids live normal lives, as much as is possible. They wouldn't change anything and even though those kids face tremendous challenges, medicine is also making great breakthroughs that is extending their life expectancy.

    The choice to have kids with the possibility of passing down a genetic disorder is definitely a personal one and I can't imagine our society is anywhere near the point of ever dictating which parents can or can't procreate. And I don't believe it's a moral issue. I don't believe you're a bad person if you know the chances and still decide to have kids. As long as parents are committed to their children in providing for their various needs--regardless of what those challenges are--then it shouldn't matter.
     
  23. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #23
    There should be no legal restrictions preventing people from having children due to risk of genetic defect. People should be allowed to be responsible for that decision themselves.
     
  24. xmichaelp macrumors 68000

    xmichaelp

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    #24
    No one is saying we should deny the right though so that's irrelevant, we're just stating our opinions on other people doing it.

    Me? I would never have a kid in the first place unless I knew they would have as good a life as possible. If I knew there is a high chance they could have a debilitating disease I wouldn't even consider having kids. I already have reservations as is regarding bringing another life into this world, if I knew ahead of time I would be subjecting them to a hard life by default just because I selfishly wanted a kid I wouldn't be able to live with myself.

    On the other side of things, I would rather not even be born than be born with a disability. This world is cruel.

    I know my post is going to rub people the wrong way, whatever, I know my opinion isn't popular. Go on, give me crap for it.

    EDIT: I should clarify, I'm not talking about things like being predisposed to diabetes or asthma.
     
  25. Clix Pix, Aug 5, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2015

    Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #25
    As someone in this very situation -- back in my childbearing years needing to make a decision about whether or not to have my own biological children -- I agree that it IS very personal and that each individual is going to need to make that choice for him- or -herself. I was born with Treacher Collins Syndrome, which is autosomal dominant, meaning that there is 50-50% chancer per pregnancy of a child being affected. Degrees of severity range from very mildly affected to quite severely so. In some extremely mild expressions of it, the individual or his family may be unaware that the syndrome is even present. In those situations it only becomes known when a newborn child arrives in the family clearly displaying the characteristics of TCS. At that point is when both parents are usually thoroughly checked out. Nowadays genetic testing is available. TCS can also occur spontaneously. In my particular situation there was no family history of it, no sign of it in parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. However, because I DO have it, there was the 50-50% risk going forward. At the time I was engaged to the man who was to become my husband, we had some serious talks and I bluntly told him that if he wanted biological children then I was not the woman he should marry. My own viewpoint on this was that I did not want to take chances on putting a child through some of the situations which can occur with TCS, nor did I want to put my parents through it all again, nor did I want to go through it again as a parent. I also did not want this for my husband-to-be and his family, either.

    My husband-to-be and I decided that if we wanted children we would adopt. As it turned out we never did do that, but we knew that the option was there. Through the amazing world of the worldwide web, I have since met, both on forums and in person, others with TCS and their families. Some, like my husband and I, chose either not to have children at all or to adopt children. Others made the choice to "roll the dice" and take their chances. I know of at least one family which has an affected parent and NO affected children, other families with an affected parent and one or more affected children plus non-affected siblings. I also know of one situation where both parents have TCS and, yes, their child has it as well. Each of these families has had to make the choice for themselves and each is going to have different parameters, different priorities, different approaches to living in the world.....
     

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