Prenatal genetic testing has been there for many years, and this was possible using invasive procedures, which had a small risk of miscarriage. Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT), a new technology, allows parents to have genetic testing with no miscarriage risk by testing fetal DNA circulating in the mother’s blood.
On the NHS, the test now available and used as a screening tool for chromosome conditions alongside other established tests, such as Down’s syndrome. It can be used in a small number of situations as a tool for people who have a known inherited condition in their family.
Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) is also now available in certain cases to help to diagnose genetic conditions in newborns if they have any. While the 1st human genome took about 13 years to complete, technology advancements mean that now the turnaround is measured in weeks, not in years. As suggested, the test could be carried on all newborns as the technology continues to improve.
Advancements in these two technologies together mean that many more people having children will be talking to professionals about the result of genetic testing. While making a decision, there are two things about genetic testing results that parents want to know. 1st how confident is the doctor with the result of the genetic test? 2nd what will be the child’s life be like with this genetic condition? These questions are not easy to answer because the information from WSG is not always correct, as it may be still unclear that the genetic variant found is the cause of a condition.
A genetic test may indicate a condition’s presence, but it cannot tell accurately how severely the child will be affected. Within the family, people with the same genetic experience may face it differently. The challenge is to decide that on what conditions a test can be done. Tests for many more genetic conditions can increase as technology advances. Medical professionals are always guided by the ethical and legal frameworks that determine abortion law and reproductive genetic technologies.