The Great Eugenics/Genetic Counselling DebateWatch
Here's the question: is it a good idea to subsidise birth control/vasectomies for carriers of genetic defects? Furthermore, if you are pro-CHOICE, is it a good idea to subsidise abortions of infants found to have, beyond a reasonable doubt, a serious genetic defect?
For instance, father and mother are cystic fibrosis carriers. Cystic fibrosis is a lifespan-shortening and painful autosomal recessive disorder, which means that if both are carriers, there's a 25% chance of cystic fibrosis at birth and a 50% chance of a cystic fibrosis carrier.
Similarly, Huntington's chorea is an autosomal *dominant* disorder. Also very disabling, leads to dementia by the age of 40 and death by the age of 50. If any one parent is a Huntington's chorea sufferer, the resultant child will have Huntington's chorea half the time. If both are Huntingtonians, the chance of the child being sick increases to 75%. Is it ethical to offer a subsidised birth control plan or vasectomy to one or both parents?
Another example: mother carries baby, amniocentesis reveals Down's syndrome. Down's is a *chromosomal* disorder, so it's impossible to prevent, but an abortion can be given if Down's is apparent after conception. Should this similarly be subsidised?