October 30, 2005

Negative Eugenics? More Genetic Tests for Cystic Fibrosis, Fewer CF Births

Toronto Globe and Mail reports that in Canada:
one in 3,608 babies is born with CF, down from one in 2,714 before a genetic test existed [in 1989]. "Our hypothesis is that pregnancies are being terminated," Dr. Mary Corey, a senior scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, said in an interview.

While the 25-per-cent drop is impressive, the incidence rate has stabilized in recent years. That is because the genetic test is only offered to families with an established history of CF. For the rate to fall further, a screening program would have to be implemented in the general population, Dr. Corey said.

- Art Caplan

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