NR 327 – Week 2 Content Question

Should antepartum testing be used for reasons other than the assessment of fetal health and well-being (e.g., select the “perfect child” based on characteristics, gender, and absence of genetic health problems of any kind)?

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According to our textbook, “the primary goal of antepartum fetal testing is to decrease risk for permanent neurologic injury or stillbirth in high-risk pregnancies (Murray, McKinney, Shaw Holub, Jones, 2019, p. 198).” There are different types of antepartum testing and they include nonstress test, fetal movement counting, biophysical profile, fetal doppler flow ultrasound, and modified biophysical profile (Murray et al., 2019, p. 198). In 2004 the Oxford English Dictionary officially added the term “designer baby” to the dictionary, and a designer baby is a child who is genetically engineered in vitro for uniquely preferred traits (Ly, 2011).

According to Ly, “designer babies represent an area within embryology that has not yet become a practical reality, but nonetheless draws out ethical concerns about whether or not it will become necessary to implement limitation regarding designer babies in the future (2011).” With more and more parents using in vitro fertilization (IVF), the ability to choose embryos prior to implantation is available. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) allows useable embryos to be screened for numerous genetic traits prior to implanting them into the mother’s uterus, and byway of PGD doctors can choose embryos that are not predisposed to specific genetic conditions (Ly, 2011).

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