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Are We Only Our Genes?

April 28, 2022   Return

We have shared with you a close look into how genetic screening can be used to detect inheritable disorders that can be passed down to our children, and how these procedures can be incorporated in various stages of fertility treatments.

Technology and science have allowed us to conceive even when the odds seem impossible, and in the process, helped us detect and predict the possibilities of our children having disorders that can affect them for the rest of their lives. These developments give rise to concerns and even objections from certain quarters – that we are now playing God.

Perhaps it is worth remembering that, while our genes define a big part of us, how we live, whom we love and the choices we make for ourselves – these are just some things that we have full control over. If it was decided by our genes that we face a higher risk of heart disease, for example, then we can practise healthy diet and active lifestyle to minimise the risks. And if our children’s genes dictate that they have Down syndrome, it does not mean that we cannot love, nurture and cherish them to the best of our abilities as parents. We have our genes, but our genes do not have us.

At the end of the day, science and technology give us the options, and it is up to us to decide how these options can be best applied to our lives. The fact that these options exist so that we as parents-to-be can choose to screen or not to screen – this could very well be a blessing in itself.

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