China Medical creates two new diagnostic reagents

and will introduce them in early 2007. The reagents are designed to measure “the free beta subunit of human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (“Free hCGβ”) and Pregnancy Associated Plasma Protein A (“PAPP-A”), respectively, in maternal serum,” which are markers of Down syndrome. To read the press release from the company, go here.

I have mixed feelings about this news. I understand that the research is often market-driven, meaning that as long as consumers are interested in these sorts of tests, there will be more of them developed. But what I’d like to see is a commensurate development of support systems for parents who receive these early diagnoses.

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3 thoughts on “China Medical creates two new diagnostic reagents

  1. I have such mixed feelings about these early-detection developments. On the one hand, if a woman is going to abort no matter what, I’d much rather her do it at 10 weeks than 22. And I like the idea of there being a larger window of time for deciding–I imagine many second-trimester abortions happen because the parents must decide within a matter of days and they’re still in utter shock.

    On the other hand, I imagine it would be far easier to agree to abortion early on rather than halfway through a pregnancy. And that larger window of time may end up being a torment to moms who decide to keep the pregnancy, then are plagued with second thoughts.

    Overall I think these early tests will only increase the abortion rate, esp. without an accompanying education program like you suggest, Jennifer.

    The whole premise of “it gives parents more time to prepare for their special needs child” (that I’ve read in many a news article re early testing) is hogwash.

  2. It’s so disheartening to think that we continue to find ways to “perfect” our unborn children, rather than teach about tolerance, difference, imperfection. Where will this end? Don’t worry. That’s a rhetorical question.

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