The Gene Machine: How Genetic Technologies Are Changing the Way We Have Kids–and the Kids We Have

March 22, 2017
author |
Bonnie Rochman
year published |

book summary from publisher:

Journalist Rochman takes a calm, thorough look at core bio-ethical questions surrounding an array of reproductive health issues as well as the ethical spaces where what can be done and what should be done come into conflict. She clearly and accessibly describes cutting-edge technologies for the general reader without succumbing to faddish, uncritical enthusiasm.

Rochman solicits the perspectives of doctors, researchers, legal experts, and families in order to focus on humanist factors, such as how doctors should counsel, how having non-actionable information still affects parental prerogatives, and whether people have a right to an “open future” in light of increasing access to genetic testing.

She digs into the toughest topics, including whether using screening results to vet potential quality-of-life factors approaches a new eugenics, if people with such differences as genetic deafness should be able to select for a child with that trait, if gene therapies that turn off genes for Down syndrome should be used on children, and whether parents have a right to test their children and access their data concerning diseases that do not manifest until adulthood. Rochman’s thoughtful take highlights important issues for parenting in an increasingly high-information world.