Fox on Prenatal Genetic Testing

front-page story in today’s Sunday Boston Globe quotes Bill of Health blogger Dov Fox on whether the routine use of new prenatal blood testing could “‘bring a tendency to exclude rather than accommodate people whose abilities fail to meet [certain] demands'” of modern society or “‘exert[] social pressure on parents to terminate pregnancy for fear of criticism or reproach from people who regard the[ir] choice [to have a] child with a disability [] as negligent, or irresponsible.'”
If these non-invasive tests (which look at potentially unlimited amounts of fetal DNA) were able to provide genetic information for conditions beyond just sex and health, might we come to think in similar ways about children of “merely” average looks or normal height or ordinary intelligence? Dov explored this question and others in a talk that he gave as a 2006 summer fellow at the Petrie-Flom Center. His article is called Silver Spoons and Golden Genes.
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About Dov Fox

Dov Fox is Professor of Law and founding Faculty Director of the Center for Health Law Policy and Bioethics at the University of San Diego School of Law. He has published dozens of articles in leading journals of law and medical ethics, most recently “Reproductive Negligence” in 117 Columbia Law Review 149 (2017). His current book project, Birth Rights and Wrongs, is under contract with Oxford University Press. His work has been featured in CNN, ABC, NPR, BBC, Reuter’s, Bloomberg, the Boston Globe, and the Washington Post. Fox is a regular columnist for The Huffington Post and contributor to the Bill of Health blog. He also serves on the advisory boards of the American Constitution Society and Appellate Defenders, the non-profit law firm that administers all appointed counsel for indigent defendants in California's Fourth Appellate District. Prior to teaching, Fox served as a law clerk to the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He has also worked at the law firm of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; the consulting firm of McKinsey & Company; and the Civil Appellate Staff at the U.S. Department of Justice. Fox was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to attend Oxford University, where he earned his DPhil and then received a Soros Fellowship for New Americans to attend Yale Law School, where he served as projects editor for the Yale Law Journal and all three years was awarded the prize for best student paper in law and the sciences.