Implications of Prenatal Diagnosis for the Human Right to Life

  • Leon R. Kass


It is especially fitting on this occasion to begin by acknowledging how pleased I am to be a participant in this symposium. I suspect that I am not alone among the assembled in considering myself fortunate to be here. For I was conceived after antibiotics yet before amniocentesis, late enough to have benefited from medicine’s ability to prevent and control fatal infectious diseases, yet early enough to have escaped from medicine’s ability to prevent me from living to suffer from my genetic diseases. To be sure, my genetic vices are, as far as I know them, rather modest, taken individually—myopia, asthma and other allergies, bilateral forefoot adduction, bowleggedness, loquaciousness, and pessimism, plus some four to eight as yet undiagnosed recessive lethal genes in the heterozygous condition—but, taken together, and if diagnosable prenatally, I might never have made it.


Muscular Dystrophy Prenatal Diagnosis Club Foot Moral Question Congenital Syphilis 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leon R. Kass

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