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Quiz: What Would You Do?

The Scenario:

A 37-year-old pregnant woman worries about her family's history of mental retardation. Genetic testing shows this woman is a carrier of the mutant gene for fragile X syndrome, an inherited form of mental retardation. U.S. and Dutch researchers have demonstrated that carriers and people with this condition show repetitive DNA segments in a gene called FMR-1). The woman is offered prenatal testing and says she will abort any affected fetus. She also indicates that she will abort a female fetus that is a carrier of the flawed gene. She states that she wants her legacy of this inherited disorder to end.

This case raises the issue of whether the woman should have the right to abort a healthy fetus that happens to be a carrier of a genetic mutation. In a sense, the mother is making her future daughter's decision for her. By choosing an abortion, the patient has ensured that she will not have grandchildren who carry the flawed gene.

The Scenario:

The Question:

Should the test be done, given the patient's stated intent to abort an otherwise healthy fetus?

Select Your Answer: YES NO

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