Having a baby may never be the same again as increasingly sophisticated genetic testing is likely to raise thorny ethical issues, a New Zealand study said on Tuesday.
“Pregnant women now face a bewildering world of genetic testing,” said Jeanne Snelling, the lead author of the New Zealand Law Foundation Report.
Genetic testing in the reproductive context is a particularly high-stakes endeavour, Snelling said, adding that it directly affects a woman’s experience of pregnancy, and may contribute to a decision not to transfer an embryo or to terminate an established pregnancy, reports Xinhua news agency.
The study looks at a number of rapidly evolving genetic technologies that a woman may be offered, either during pregnancy or regarding embryos created by IVF (in-vitro fertilization).
A common feature of all of these tests is that they enable an increasing and significant amount of health-related information to be derived, compared with traditional prenatal tests, and all are associated with particular technical, ethical and legal challenges, Snelling said.
“The report considers how this new landscape reignites debates about the implications of new technology for women and how it affects the experience of pregnancy.”