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Posted by / 23-Apr-2020 01:10

The only way (barring mutation) that the offspring of a carrier could develop the disease would be if their spouse also carried the defective gene and both passed it on to their child, a one in four chance per pregnancy. Since carriers are healthy, there is no simple way to remove the gene from the gene pool.

We would have to bar all carriers from having children, a prospect which is both unethical and cruel.

Any child who inherits even one copy of the defective gene for a disease such as Huntington Disease (a lethal neurological disease) will almost certainly develop the disease, although the age of onset may be between two years and over 80 years.

Jews have used the knowledge gained from testing to significantly decrease the incidence of Tay-Sachs births, with segments of the Orthodox community virtually eradicating Tay-Sachs births by an ingenious method of preventing carriers from marrying (which I will describe later in this article).If genetic screening is permitted or required, when should people be tested? Should we inform employers, insurers, and relatives?What are the ramifications of testing positive for an abnormal gene?Are there different ramifications of testing positive before versus after marriage?In this article, we will use the gene for Tay-Sachs, found in high prevalence in the Ashkenazi Jewish population, as a representative example of the issues arising when testing for a recessively inherited disease. a disease In order to understand the Jewish approach to genetic screening, background information is required.

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There is no direct threat to the health of the person being tested.

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