Good Eggs, Bad Eggs

The growing power of prenatal genetic tests is raising thorny new questions about ethics, fairness and privacy

They were hardly the sort of couple you would expect to have trouble with prenatal testing. The father, Dallas geneticist Dr. Paul Billings, was the author of pioneering studies about genetic screening and its problems. The mother, Suzi, was also a physician. When she became pregnant at 37, she not only opted for amniocentesis--mainly to check for Down syndrome, an increased risk for children of mothers her age--but also for a newer genetic probe for an inheritable neuromuscular disease. She knew that a member of her family carried the gene for it and realized she might have it too. "It was...

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