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The Problem With Genetic Testing

Advances in reproductive medicine and diagnostic technology make the miracle of childbirth less mysterious, but they introduce new ethical dilemmas for parents. The Los Angeles Times offers a truly disturbing look at the practice of one of the few late term abortion doctors in the country in A Late Decision, a Lasting Anguish.

In one section the complex role of amniocentesis tests is illustrated.

For [Katie] Plazio (not her actual last name), the heartache began with the unexpected. After a decade of infertility, she was stunned to feel a kick to her ribs as she sat through a meeting in February 2001. She had been dieting for weeks, running five miles a day - and wondering why she still couldn't squeeze into her pants. She was six months pregnant.

Overjoyed, Plazio and her husband scheduled an amniocentesis. The preliminary results were clean; bursting with excitement, Plazio, then 43, bought a baby blanket dotted with pale blue bunnies. Ten days later, her doctor called with devastating news: More complete genetic tests had determined that their son had Down syndrome.

Plazio had studied special education in college; working with adults with Down syndrome, she had seen their lives as lonely, frustrating, full of hurt. She was not sure she could find joy in raising her son to such a future. She didn't think she could cope with what she expected would be a lifetime of sadness and struggle.

Plazio aborts her child in the 29th week of her pregnancy and, in what could hardly be considered a shock, she's arguable worse off.
Since her abortion, Plazio has suffered such severe panic attacks that she can't drive even as far as the high school to watch her daughter cheerlead. She has gained 60 pounds as she battles depression. The abortion she sought to preserve her mental health has left her deeply shaken; doctors say she suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome.
On both occasions when offered the chance for amnio tests we turned them down. Our decision was simple; if we had found out that we had a child with Downs coming (for example), would we still have the child? Our answer was, 'yes.' This obviated the need for genetic testing. Conception and child birth in humans and animals is not a perfect process - there are all manner of miscarriage, defects, and death - but the incidences of things going wrong is statistically very low, and lower with quality prenatal care.

For all the advances in reproductive and neonatal medicine there's still an element of what I'll call "the divine" (you may substitute "the mystical," "the magical," etc.) in the process. We are closest to God at birth and death, and when we inject ourself into the process we automatically change "the divine" outcome. This is not necessarily a bad thing, plenty of people are saved from heart attacks, etc., it's merely instructive to note that we've changed the outcome that was naturally occurring.

In the process of conception there's a natural process in action, which for many couples is broken. Modern medicine offers much better odds of overcoming infertility and delivering healthy babies. One thing about medicine and pregnancy worth noting, in my opinion, is that it is possible to get too much information during pregnancy. Prospective parents are full of conflicting emotions as birth approaches and there are all sorts of tests that can signify all sorts of problems (or in many cases just the possibility of problems) for the developing infant.

By and large doctors fail to prepare parents for the ethical dilemmas they could face if prenatal tests reveal issues. Getting news about the possibility of genetic abnormalities can throw a parent, a family, or a marriage, into turmoil which the medical profession doesn't even try to address. My belief is that unless you know (in advance) what you'd do with the information an amnio test might provide, you're asking for trouble.

If you don't know what you'd do if a genetic test showed that you had a child with Down's (for example) on the way you'd be better off skipping the tests entirely. If you think you know what you'd do, read that Times article again...


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Comments (33)

"On both occasions when off... (Below threshold)
John:

"On both occasions when offered the chance for amnio tests we turned them down."

There are genetic deficiencies (I forget the name for now) that can be managed by diet during childbirth and the first 4-6 years of life and the child will be perfectly normal after that. If left undiagnosed, it can cause permanent difficulties for the child.

Great post.My wife... (Below threshold)

Great post.

My wife and I have three wonderful children. We opted NOT to have the amniocentesis for many of the same reasons you mentioned. We were never going to abort, never, so why worry about it. Besides, we have had friends who had a "bad" amnio result, decided to press on, and the baby was born totally fine. So they worried the entire pregnancy over nothing.

Our last child, our daughter, was born with a clubbed left foot. If we had wanted to, we could have had more extensive ultra sounds done that could have picked up the problem. It is sad to say, but there are some people who would have aborted over such a small imperfection. Sad.

Yes it has been a little trying at times, as we carry her back and forth to doctors, but dammit, she is worth every minute and every dollar spent. I would not change her for anything. To read about her progress go here and to see pictures of our little darling, go here and here.

Too much info can be a bad thing.

John. One that I know of i... (Below threshold)

John. One that I know of is PKU. That's tested for after birth, though it can be detected before birth (I think).

W/K - I too know many people who had bad amnio results or initial results that caused concern who eventually had normal healthy babies. I also know children born at 31 weeks, a time when the doctor in the LAT story is still aborting babies.

tough situation all around ... (Below threshold)
shark:

tough situation all around for this poor woman. In a perfect world, she'd be happily raising her perfectly healthy baby now.

I can't fault her for getting the abortion, and I can't fault her for her reaction to it either.

Just hope she overcomes soon.

We opted to have the amnio ... (Below threshold)
Ryans Mom:

We opted to have the amnio done when our ob told us the story of a mom who did have a downs son, but felt that she would have been better prepared. We decided that we wanted to know, not that we would abort, but just so that we could be ready. It turned out that everything was fine, but we were happy we made the decision we did.

Why does the article sugges... (Below threshold)
Wendigo:

Why does the article suggest that "Plazio" got the abortion for her own mental health? From the description given of her reasons, it appears that it was her concern for the life a "special" child would have. From her own experience with the developmentally handicapped, such as her child would have been.

And for the first commentor...

Some things (not genetic problems, by and large) can be corrected in utero; Down's Syndrome can't. It's a problem -with the child's genetic structure-. If we were more advanced in our gene therapies we might be able to deal with it, say with a retrovirus. We aren't; Down's Syndrome is a life sentence to live in a world you can't understand and cope with like other people, passed down through recessive genes from your parents.

My first child has developm... (Below threshold)

My first child has developmental delays, moderate hearing and vision impairments and epilepsy. Genetic testing was done when she was about a year old to see if there was genetic basis for the "symptoms". She was found to have some genetic abnormalities, but not anything that they could "put a finger on". Her father and I do not have these abnormalities and it was concluded that they were de novo abnormalities. When I became pregnant again, we decided to have an amnio to see if the baby would have the same genetic abnormalities. We were NOT considering terminating the pregnancy.

When you are going to undergo an amnio they tell you that there is a one in two hundred chance of an adverse outcome. I was the one. Two days later I delivered a perfect, tiny boy. He died of a strep infection.

More on all this at my post Prenatal Testing

From the description giv... (Below threshold)
mcg:

From the description given of her reasons, it appears that it was her concern for the life a "special" child would have.

Read the description again. It says nothing about the life of the child, but of the child's parents.

KevinIt's nice that ... (Below threshold)
Fran:

Kevin
It's nice that you had the choice regarding amnio testing.
The operative word is CHOICE.
Is the standard to be that any negative reaction to any event should require the prohibition of such event?
Plazio aborts her child in the 29th week of her pregnancy and, in what could hardly be considered a shock, she's arguable worse off.

What about the woman who gets post partum depression? Should the state screen such people and force them to have abortions?

Fess up and realize that govt isn't qualified to determine such events. It's up to the various people and their religious or non religious views.
Throw in a little oversight by SCOTUS and it gives rise to the great American spiritual; Can't we all get along?

Wait a minute. I'm confuse... (Below threshold)
JD:

Wait a minute. I'm confused.

A third-trimester abortion was performed on an otherwise viable fetus (pre-born human, glob of cells, take yer pick), for the primary reason of maternal mental well-being and lifestyle. And yet the Brave New Woman in the article is now having problems with Her Desperate Choice? NARAL tells us that that third-trimester abortions have no consequence to the mother. Silly me.

From the article: "She was not sure she could find joy in raising her son to such a future. She didn't think she could cope with what she expected would be a lifetime of sadness and struggle."

One wonders whether or not she would be enduring those struggles even now, as Down's has a range of effects, some minor and some major, but those are primarily revealed after the child is born.

All I know is that an innocent child was murdered because the mother felt that raising this child would harsh her mellow.

What she is going through right now is, IMHO, just the beginning of the torment her soul will go through in this life and beyond.

I opted out of the AFP and ... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

I opted out of the AFP and other tests myself. Abortion wouldn't have been a choice for us, and considering that the tests (amnio and the other one I can't remember) come with risks of miscarriage it wasn't worth it to us.

One thing that concerns me with genetic testing though, is that as we learn more about genes, and what what genes certain traits/deseases etc are located on, where that will take us regarding abortion.

Having a child with special needs is difficult (I have a son with an autism spectrum disorder) and can be frustrating, but you know, most people adjust and they step up to the plate, and deal with it. I can't imagine life without my son in it.

My three-year-old son has D... (Below threshold)
Vern:

My three-year-old son has Down syndrome. We were, of course, very upset to find out that he wasn't the "perfect" child we were expecting. It took months to get over the shock. But now I cannot imagine a life without my little guy. He is a very happy, very lovable little fellow. Everybody who knows him comments on how nice he is and what a joy he is.

I think many, many couples are unnecessarily frightened about having a child with a disability by society and the medical community. Sure, it's not easy to raise a child with special needs. But the rewards are tremendous. My two typical children love their little brother to death and have learned empathy, tolerance, and understanding that I don't think they would have developed without their brother.

I feel sorry about the woman who chose to abort her child rather than bring him into the world. Children with Down syndrome today are far more high functioning than many of the adults with Down syndrome because they aren't institutionalized and they go to school and are expected to learn like everyone else. That woman will probably suffer from the guilt her whole life. If she had only had the child and put it up for adoption (and there is a waiting list of people who WANT to adopt a child with Down syndrome), she could live with herself.

WunderKraut, your girl is a... (Below threshold)
Sue Dohnim:

WunderKraut, your girl is a little dollbaby. :)

And say what you want, abortion of a "fetus" in its 29th week is infanticide.

I saw my first child in his 12th week in my first ultrasound, and I had no idea until that point that he was anything other than a "blob of tissue." When I saw his little face, fingers, toes and his heart beating, then saw him scoot up under my pelvic bone when the ultrasound was causing him discomfort, I knew then I had been lied to for my most of my young adult life.

Hey JD did you read the act... (Below threshold)
frameone:

Hey JD did you read the actual article? Every one of the women patients quoted are grateful to the doctor who carried out their procedures. Indeed, the woman Kevin selectively quotes from goes on to say this:

"Her mental health, she is convinced, would be even worse had she tried to raise a profoundly disabled son — or had she given him up for adoption.

The abortion "released my poor sick baby back to the angels," she said. "The only thing I wish I had done differently was realize I was pregnant months earlier."

So it;s really disingenuous for Kevin to suggest that this woman is "arguably worse off." She clearly states that she feels she isn't worse off.

There's a quote from another woman who actually opposes abortion but nevertheless decided to have one when she learned her son had a rare and lethal skeletal disease.

"I was so afraid," she said. "It was bad enough that I had inflicted this on him. I didn't want him to suffer any more ...

"For children like Daniel [the name she gave her unborn son], 'the man is a savior,' she said. 'He's there for women who have nowhere else to go.'"

I don't agree with the decision to abort a child with Down System but like someone says above, it's about CHOICE and I can't make that choice for anyone.

The idea that it's about ch... (Below threshold)
ndh:

The idea that it's about choice is nonsense. If it were, then we'd wait until the baby was old enough to offer her input. Last time I checked, if I off my 18-month old, I don't get to use the old "it's about CHOICE" defense.

Yo, frameone - does the chi... (Below threshold)
JD:

Yo, frameone - does the child being aborted deserve any input in the "Choice" to be made?

Or should a fetus in utero just be held hostage for the entire 40 weeks depending on whether or not the mother feels that having a special-needs child might mess up her tennis schedule?

You pro-scoopers can put it any way you want. I've heard all the euphemisms. It's typically called "therapeutic" abortion - with the "therapeutic" implying treatment for a medical condition. Some even call it "VIP" for Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy. Has a nice self-esteemy ring to it, don'tcha think?

Well guess what, sweet pea? It's not a choice I referred to up above. Abortion of a third-trimester child who is otherwise viable is a deliberate act of infanticide. And the sooner that concept gets bent around the heads of the NARAL and NOW folks the better.

Why don't we folow the rout... (Below threshold)
fatman:

Why don't we folow the route the Dutch are experimenting with: wait until the child is born and let the doctors decide if its chances of having a "quality life" are so poor that it should be put down like an unwanted cat or dog. That way, the parents are off the hook and don't have to make these "hard choices".

Oh, wait. Most states call that murder. Rats!

Why don't we folow the r... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Why don't we folow the route the Dutch are experimenting with: wait until the child is born and let the doctors decide if its chances of having a "quality life" are so poor that it should be put down like an unwanted cat or dog.

Why don't we just misrepresent what the Dutch are doing because it fits our agenda, even though it would fit our agenda if we told the truth?

The Dutch do practice euthenasia of infants who are born with terminal diseases, but only with the permission of the parents. You may find this deplorable, sure, but don't misrepresent what is actually going on. I urge you to present one case in which an infant has been euthanized without the consent of his/her parents. Even if you call this murder, to shift the blame from the parents to doctors is baseless.

Mantis: On October... (Below threshold)
fatman:

Mantis:

On October 12, 2004 the Detroit Free Press published an article by their foreign correspondent, Matthew Schofield. In that article, Mr. Schofield described the Groningen University Hospital protocol, which at the time gave DOCTORS, not the parents, final authority over whether or not to euthanize children that the DOCTORS, not the parents, think are suffering unbearable pain from terminal conditions. While the protocol was designed to deal primarily with newborns, it could be applied to children as old as twelve.

In the same article, a case was cited in which Dutch courts refused to punish a doctor who had euthanized an elderly woman against her wishes. The court ruled that the doctor had made an "error in judgement", but that he had acted "honorably and according to conscience".

Now, if the Dutch are, as you say, leaving the final decision on euthanizing terminally ill children to the parents, then the Groningen protocol has obviously been "tweaked", for want of a better word. That makes it only slightly less barbarous, particularly considering where it's being done; don't those people remember ANYTHING that happened more than thirty years ago? And do you want to start a pool on long the Groningen protocol stays "tweaked"?

Go to:
www.freep.com/news/health/euthanasia12e_20041012htm
if you want to read the whole thing.

My last post ^^, third para... (Below threshold)
fatman:

My last post ^^, third paragraph, last sentence; insert the word "how" between the words "on" and "long".

(once again, with feeling: the preview button is my friend, the preview button is my friend, the preview button...)

The chance of a mother who ... (Below threshold)

The chance of a mother who is 43 having a child with Down's is 1/53. My chance (woman of 25) is 1/1205. People who are afraid of having a Down's baby could simply stop having children at the age of 40 or so since the risk spikes at around this age.

When I had my baby, my doctor recommended I not have amniocentesis because the risk of spontaneous abortion as a result of the amnio far outweighed the risk of having a baby with Down's...

I'm a nurse who works with epileptics and many patients with Down's and from group homes. Most of the Down's patients are able to work at simple jobs and participate in activities that they enjoy. Some, on the other hand, are completely mute and dependant on someone for all of their care. Some are stillborn or die early from the ubiquitous heart defect....I can see why this woman would opt for an abortion when faced with these possibilities.

When society claims that a ... (Below threshold)

When society claims that a woman has the right to murder her unborn child, but fails to note that most women who do so suffer the rest of their lives, who is to blame? "Katie" played dumb in opting for the "easy" route and is now paying for it. But too many calloused people want that "easy" route available and "guilt" free, because they lack any conscience to be pricked by such an act.

I find it hard to have sympathy for a woman who murdered her own child rather than face the bother of raising him or her. I know people with Down's Syndrome, and it's not as bad as the media like to make it out to be. If "Katie" really did know Down's adults, then she even more culpable in the horrible act she committed.

In my own case, we have two children with a severe congenital condition, and genetic testing is absolutely necessary. Of course the idiots who criticize us for having more children -- even though we know they have a chance of having this condition, are also inevitable. But life is precious, regardless of what silly critera some shallow people chose to demand.

Comments are messed up.... (Below threshold)

Comments are messed up.

Okay, I guess it posted eve... (Below threshold)

Okay, I guess it posted even though it gave me an error.

"I was so afraid," she sai... (Below threshold)
frameone:

"I was so afraid," she said. "It was bad enough that I had inflicted this on him. I didn't want him to suffer any more ...

This woman, quoted in the article, had an amnio test and discovered that her child had a rare and lethal disease and that he would live, as she was was told, a "short and brutal life." As Kevin suggests, but which so few of you seem to have done, read the article and tell me you would force this woman, who herself is oppossed to abortion, to go through with her pregancy. Whcih she didn't. Of course, I guess you would without having to read it. You've made up you minds that the woman speaking the words quoted above is a murderer. You've decided that you have the right to judge her, to condemn her, to banish her soul to hell. You have that right, you are worthy of this because your own souls are oh so clean.

The choice question is simply the only compromise in cases like this. You see it's about compromise and trying to find the best solution for difficult, painful decisions. The government should not be involved in these kinds of decisions, essentially focring an individual to do something against their will.

Is anyone here oppossed to birth control on the same grounds? If I knew that any child my wife and I might bear was genetically predisposed to a lethal and painful illness would you also deny me the right to use birth control? Or would you simply deny me the right to have sex?

What I find so fascinating is how casually Kevin slips this into his discussion -- "We are closest to God at birth and death" -- as if aetheists just don;t count in this equation. If I don't believe in God Kevin's whole argument about injecting oneself into some "divine" outcome is moot. And yet, you would force it on me anyway. I don't agree with aborting a child with Down Syndrome but I'm inclined to leave that decision to the mother of the child and her doctors because to leave it to you people is one of the scariest things I can think of.

"Katie" played dumb in opti... (Below threshold)
frameone:

"Katie" played dumb in opting for the "easy" route and is now paying for it. But too many calloused people want that "easy" route available and "guilt" free, because they lack any conscience to be pricked by such an act."

Danny --

Did you read the article? For crying out loud has anyone here actually read the full article? The women quoted, each and everyone, are grateful to the doctor who gave them the choice. Plazio herself, who Danny believes regrets her "easy" decision and is now paying for it says this:

"I don't know what I would have done had [Dr. Tiller] not been available to me," said Katie Plazio, a financial analyst from New Jersey. "That's selfish, I know. I feel selfish. But … doesn't everyone want the best for themselves and their family?" ...

Giving her son up for adoption seemed even worse — to wake each morning not knowing where he was, imagining him scared and alone. "I could not live with that fear all my life," Plazio said.

"I don't want anyone to think that I did this all for Matthew," she said. "I was not just sparing him problems. I was sparing my daughter, my husband, me and all those who depend on me…. I knew the limits of my family and my marriage. Maybe there are families who can handle it all. Maybe they are better people. But I knew I could not do it." ...

The abortion she sought to preserve her mental health has left her deeply shaken; doctors say she suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome ...

Her mental health, she is convinced, would be even worse had she tried to raise a profoundly disabled son — or had she given him up for adoption.

The abortion "released my poor sick baby back to the angels," she said. "The only thing I wish I had done differently was realize I was pregnant months earlier."

So please, could we give this woman some understanding and care? Or would we rather just go on condemning and judging her because judging people is the easy way to feel good about ourselves.

So having an unborn child r... (Below threshold)
Sue Dohnim:

So having an unborn child ripped limb from limb is preferable to giving him (MATTHEW!) up for adoption? She didn't want anyone else to raise her child, but she didn't want to raise the child herself. In essence saying if she couldn't have him then damn it, no one would.

Is this what passes for compassionate motherhood in your world, frameone?

I think you want to feel good about yourself so you don't have to face the ugly, horrible truth. That's what this woman is having to do now, and that's why she's in dire straits psychologically now.

No, frameone, we're not jud... (Below threshold)
ndh:

No, frameone, we're not judging her to make us feel good about ourselves. You, on the other hand, are rationalizing the bejeezus out of a cold-blooded act so that you can feel good about the fact thay you'd probably do the same thing yourself.

That little child had a tragic condition no doubt, and no doubt that woman would have needed some genuine care and support to help with the special needs that child would have had. What she doesn't need is a bunch of yes-men telling her what she did was OK.

Now if she comes around and realizes it was wrong, there is redemption and forgiveness, and we can all shower her with it.

The problem with this threa... (Below threshold)
Vern:

The problem with this thread is that few people have had contact with children with Down syndrome, and so you think that it is a horrible condition that justifies termination of the pregnancy. As a mother of a child with Down syndrome, let me tell you that it's not that bad! Certainly not, IMHO, a reason for abortion. If a woman/couple feel they cannot cope with a child with special needs, then give the child up for adoption. I am incensed that someone would feel that a child with this condition is "doomed" or that his fate is "tragic." And for those who have seen adults with Down syndrome, it's very difficult to compare them with children born today. Many adults were placed in institutions and taught next to nothing. Unfortunately, they are not very high-functioning as a result. But take a look at children with Down syndrome today and you see a totally different picture. They read, they write. they ride bicycles, they play the piano...they can really do a lot. And life isn't horrible for them.

This reminds me of a recent case in England where an abortion was performed because the fetus had cleft palate, a very repairable defect. What kind of a society are we turning into where if the child isn't "perfect" in every way, he is aborted?

There is a difference between an abortion when the baby is born without a brain or with a condition completely incompatible with life, and when a child has special needs but can lead a very fulfilling, productive, and happy life. I'm sorry to say that I have little compassion for the woman who "released [her] poor sick baby back to the angels." Her child was never sick in the first place! He could have lead a great life, but he was denied that chance. My compassion goes out to that unborn child, and to the thousands of children with Down syndrome and other birth defects who will not be given the opportunity to live and show the world how wonderful they really are.

For all of you who think ab... (Below threshold)
KBiel:

For all of you who think aborting a fetus because it has downs or CF or some other genetic disease, would you please explain to me why it is not OK to kill that baby after a live birth? If those conditions are so horrible, that ending the life is the best alternative, then why do we let kids, who have been born already, live until they die of natural causes? Why don't we administer a lethal does of drugs to these people so that they die painlessly and no longer have to live their horrible life? Please split that hair for me, because I am having a hard time understanding how you do it.

Frameone, amnio is not perf... (Below threshold)
F15C:

Frameone, amnio is not perfect. As with me. I was also shown to have physical defects by the best 'technology' of the time. True, I did have a couple of minor physical defects (no upper lip, a slightly smaller right pectoral) but no Downs. My parents went through seven surgeries with me including one where the anesthesia almost killed me. They never made any issue whatsoever of how it effected them.

Until I had my own child (who had no problems) did I realize what they had gone through having a 'deformed' child. Especially a facial deformity. Now that is not the same as dealing with a Downs child, but our friends have five children the youngest with Downs, and though the stress has taken its toll, they are parents that would give their life for that child - or any of their other children.

Obviously, the woman in the article would not.

Oh, and by the way, I'm damn glad neither you nor here were my mother (or father).

This posting hit a nerve. ... (Below threshold)
beth:

This posting hit a nerve. My oldest daughter was born in 1984 developmentally delayed (moderately retarded). The doctors call this "failure to thrive" for lack of a description of her illness or problem.
It may have happened during birth --labor was too long, should have had a c-section. We found out after tests before age 5 that she needed special education. So from age 0-5 we were fighting for her life. She was hypotonic and almost died twice. From age 6 to date (she is 21) has been about alternative therapies and special education. We are lucky to be in American where there are so many alternative ways to treat the problem - anoxia, a term we found on the internet, not from the pediatrician who was the attending physician.
The doctors covered each others asses on this one.

When she was 17, I discovered on the internet about HYPERBARIC OXYGENATION TREATMENT (HBO) and for 3.5 years she has been breathing PURE O2 for an hour at a time as a treatment for healing her wounded brain - anoxia, or lack of oxygen. Guess what? She has gotten smarter for which we have scientific proof. She has had over 200 hours of oxygen therapy and we are going to continue this indefinitely. I am buying time @ $200/hour so that by age 30 or 40 she might reach her potential (instead of at 60) and have a better quality of life.

Basics Explanation: O2 under ATA1.5 pressure liquifies the gas and it is carried by the blood cells into the brain where gas cannot penetrate. The "dead" cells are really dormant. They become revived the O2 and begin working again. You need to do a SPECT scan before and after 20 hours of HBO treatment to see where O2 filled in the holes that was absent before.

If your kid has CP, Downs, ADHD, ADD, or AUTISM, spectrum autism, failure to thrive, developmentally delayed, please consider HBOT to improve the quaility of life. www.oceanhbo.com is a good start for information and to get treatment. Then find an HBO clinic in / near where you live. If you can't find one we have one in Cincinnati OHIO.
www.cincinnatihyberparics.com There are more growing in this country. One bad thing: Insurances won't pay for this as it is considered "experimental." We fought by appeal to the highest level and lost. But we will continue this treatment because she is getting smarter.

Please spread the word: HYPERBARIC OXYGENATION TREATMENT. It works. www.oceanhbo.com. Please tell Dr. Richard Neubauer that 'Beth from Cincinnati recommended this.' He is a wonderful doctor and the clinic is a wonderful place to get treatment. Alternative medicine is the way. HBOT is the way.

God bless all parents of special needs children for keeping and raising their miracle child. We learn so much about love and life and what's important from our children of special needs, who are our greatest teachers.

It is indeed unfortunate wh... (Below threshold)
S. Bonnie:

It is indeed unfortunate when genetic testing causes such grief. If patients are referredd for genetic counseling with a trained and accredited Genetic Counselor, patients will come to learn the limits and advantages of genetic testing in the context of their own ethical beliefs and personal situations. Exploring testing in each personal context avoids most of the problems discussed above. Check out the National Society of Genetic Counselors website to locate a genetic counselor near you, even now for those who are dealing with the aftermath of decisions. God Bless.

S. Bonnie Liebers, M.S.
Board Certified Genetic Counselor
Northeast Health Genetic Services
Green Island, New York
518-270-2172




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