AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. September 2009, Volume 11, Number 9.

Ethics Poll

How Much Do You Want to Know?

The Ethics Poll is a snapshot of the opinions of interested readers.

Huntington's disease is transmitted by a dominant gene. If you have the gene, you will get this degenerative neurological disease during your middle age if you do not die from another cause first. If one of your parents has Huntington's disease, you have a 50 percent chance of inheriting the gene, and hence the disease. If one of your parents had Huntington's, would you be tested to see whether you had the gene?
A young man whose mother has Huntington's disease is engaged to be married. Does he have an ethical duty to his future spouse to be tested for the disease before they marry?
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In the procedure called in vitro fertilization, an egg and sperm are united in a petri dish, and resulting embryos are implanted in the woman's uterus. In the procedure call preimplantation genetic diagnosis, those embryos can be analyzed for disease and other traits (such as sex) before they are implanted. Which of the following best describes how you think preimplantation genetic diagnosis should be used?
Poll results reflect the opinions of visitors to the site who voluntarily answer the poll questions. Those visitors do not represent a random sample of our readers. The viewpoints expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.