July 19, 2007

Ethics Question #4

Here is your next question to ponder upon....

There is a new invention that can only be used on babies and it lets the parents know how and when the child will die. The device is fast and painless, but currently costs $20,000 for the scan.

The question is, should this information be given to parents/child? And if so should this type of information be a standard procedure?

An example of what the scan will tell would be something like "55 heart attack" or "23 mass trauma" The scan will not say "died at 23 from getting hit by car" or "died at 55 from heart attack b/c of high cholesterol"

This type of procedure is closer than that you think. With genetic testing one can test for a very wide range of genetic diseases. And with that information you can be proactive against certain types of diseases, for example certain types of cancers have been shown a strong genetic link to them. The problem arises when the disease has no cure and the prognosis is early death, or a chronic disease that will strike mid-way through life. Does the child have the right NOT to know of the results. Meaning, should the doctor not tell the parents and or child the results when there is nothing that can be done?

Lets me know what you think about these questions :)

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