Monday, October 2, 2017
How Much of Autism is Genetic?
Journal of the American Medical Association, and reported by Time Magazine, genetics was stated to account for about 83% of the disorder. A number of different case study designs were utilized including the study of identical twins, non identical twins, siblings, and parent/child relationships. What the study concluded was that a substantial proportion of autism causation could be traced back to genetics and a child's DNA could eventually be used as a predictor for if and when autism presents itself. The research is still in it's infancy, as the study only reported on the correlation between certain gene features and the presence of autism. Even though this study provides valuable insight into the nature of autism, and could lead to earlier and better diagnosis, as well as better treatment and care for autistic people, it does open up new issues to be dealt with. Should babies get screened for autism? Could knowing you're having an autistic baby be a valid reason for abortion? The scientific value of this study is great, but what kinds of moral and ethical implications is it going to entail? I think that although this is great knowledge to have about the condition, it is going to be the beginning of new moral and ethical controversies, similar to those we've had in the past over Down Syndrome and the like.