Should prospective parents seek information about gene variants that increase the risk that their children will develop diseases that manifest themselves when they are adults? Should physicians give the information to them? Some bioethicists believe that such testing is wrong, arguing that such information could stigmatize the child and that it may suggest that people with genetic illness predispositions should never have been born. They further argue that children have a right to an “open future” in which they are not burdened with the knowledge of their genetic predispositions for adult onset illnesses. Reason Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey argues that whatever some bioethicists might believe, autonomy is never enhanced by ignorance.
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