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Medical Research: Rise in Abortions of Deaf Babies

Prenatal testing prompts rise in abortions of Deaf babies. Hearing loss can be a curse if it's linked to a revelation as heart-breaking as this.


LONDON - According to a survey conducted by Delhi's Sir Ganga Ram hospital, a majority of would-be parents would opt for an abortion if knew they are going to have a hearing-impaired child.

The study was published in a recent issue of American Journal of Medical Genetics.

The research-based study was conducted for four years - 2005 to 2009 - on at least 51 families with a history of congenital hearing loss.

"Around 93 per cent of the couples expressed high interest in prenatal diagnosis, while 73 per cent considered termination if the foetus was affected," Dr Ishwar C Verma, chairman, department of genetics, Sir Ganga Ram hospital, said.

The result in cases of hearing couples, in whom genetic anomalies were identified, was even more disheartening.

"All of them opted for prenatal diagnosis. On testing, all the foetuses were found to be affected and the hearing parents elected to terminate the pregnancies," Dr Verma said.

In developing countries such as India, there is an increasing awareness and interest in prenatal testing because genetic disorders of all types, including hereditary deafness, which lead to significant social and economic burden on families due to poor support structure. During the study, doctors found that around 68 per cent would be parents opted for genetic testing. ... Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2280183/Prenatal-testing-prompts-rise-abortions-deaf-babies.html?ito=feeds-newsxml
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