Ethical Issues Arising in Molecular Genetics in Developing Countries
Let us consider the current status of genetics in developing countries, taking India as an example. Admittedly, genetic disorders are not, at present, significant causes of morbidity and mortality in India or in other developing countries. This is in sharp contrast to the situation in the developed countries. The difference in the pattern of disease is reflected in the difference between their population structures (Scriver 1976). The demographic profile in a developed country resembles a cylinder, while in a developing country it is like a pyramid (Fig. 1). In developing countries, the large number of births give rise to a broad base, while the tip is formed by very few people in the older age groups. The pyramidal shape arises from mortality in each age group resulting from infectious and parasitic disorders (Verma 1986a). The cylindrical shape in a developed country is due to a very low mortality in childhood, resulting in the predominance of genetic, degenerative, and malignant disorders in older age groups.
KeywordsGenetic Counselling Down Syndrome Prenatal Diagnosis Iodine Deficiency Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
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