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Autism Abortion Test Now Available: Should Taxpayer Dollars Be Used To Develop Such Tests?

Should selective abortion of children be considered part of an autism prevention strategy?

Lineagen
By Kevin Barry

Advances in medical science and technology sometimes come with a heavy moral price. Traditional pre-natal genetic tests have involved invasive analysis of the mother's amniotic fluid.  Now, less invasive blood tests are available.  (See Science Daily HERE ).  A new simple blood test is now on the market which can be used for genetic counseling about potential risks for developing autism.  Information presented to expecting parents could easily lead to selective abortion of supposedly "at-risk" fetuses. 

Universal Family Church is a multi-faith church which highly respects the individual's right to make health choices.  Most of our members do not support selective abortion of children.  As a society, we have legalized abortion, but drawn a line banning the use of taxpayer money to perform this procedure.  Universal Family Church believes that society should go a step further and ban the use of taxpayer money for new genetic research which could lead to selective abortions.  We believe that selective abortions - of babies otherwise wanted and hoped for - are especially tragic.  

Presently, a very high percentage of fetuses which test positive prenatally for Down's Syndrome are aborted. ( See Nature HERE)  Is Government-funded research leading to a similar future for infants who may simply have a very slightly increased risk of developing autism?

Should selective abortion of children be considered part of an autism prevention strategy? 

Lineagen, a biotech company based in Utah, is now marketing a blood test which identifies "new genetic variants associated with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders)" . (See Lineagen HERE)  At this time, Lineagen positions its product as a post natal early intervention tool - not as a prenatal test.  However, with autism rates conservatively affecting one in every 70 boys born today, expecting couples are rightfully concerned about autism.  FirstStepDX is an easy, single draw blood test that could be added to routine prenatal OB/GYN appointments.  

Lineagen's website explains this simple process of their FirstStepDx blood test:

What does the testing process include?

Lineagen’s FirstStepDx combines two state-of-the-art genetic tests: whole genome chromosome microarray analysis (CMA) and fragile X testing. 

Two blood samples are taken from the person undergoing testing and are obtained during a single blood draw.  From these samples DNA is extracted, which is then used for genetic testing.

The FirstStepDx test comprises a comprehensive service that includes pre- and post-test genetic counseling and a detailed report delivered in an easy-to-read format, suitable for both physicians and families. Lineagen Our Services HERE

The Lineagen site also describes the test's use of new genetic variants:   

Over the past several years, powerful research possibilities have emerged, particularly related to the identification of new genetic variants associated with ASD, MS, and COPD. Furthermore, Lineagen has in-licensed best-in-class genetic research data from notable establishments, including the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to form the most extensive proprietary data set on ASD in the world.  About Lineagen HERE
 
Autism is expensive to society, costing billions of dollars per year.   From a cost perspective, it's easy to understand why some government agencies, and some private autism non-profit groups, have searched for autism gene(s) for so long.  With the human genome now mapped, it is apparent that no single gene causes even a modest proportion of ASD cases. 

The public and private sector search for the autism gene - so society could attempt to abort away autism in the future as it aborts away Down's Syndrome in the present - has failed.

Years of research has determined that autism is a multigene, multifactorial disorder.  The temptation to screen for autism risk will be unavoidable, whereas the opportunity to treat infants postnatally based on their genetics will likely yield little benefit. The Human Genome Project website states that "multigene or multifactorial disorders ... would be especially difficult to treat effectively using gene therapy."    

Multigene disorders - Conditions or disorders that arise from mutations in a single gene are the best candidates for gene therapy. Unfortunately, some the most commonly occurring disorders, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, and diabetes, are caused by the combined effects of variations in many genes. Multigene or multifactorial disorders such as these would be especially difficult to treat effectively using gene therapy.  See HERE 

 

Should new research projects seeking taxpayer money certify that their output will not be used for prenatal genetic testing?  There is a place for new genetic research for autism for potential drug discovery, provided the new research has specific gene targets.  If researchers want to develop genetic counseling tools for prenatal use, they can turn to private entities, like Lineagen or private autism non-profit organizations, for funding. 

The NIH Office of Autism Research Coordination proudly displays its work on "genetic risk factors."  Some autism non-profit groups, in support of the 2011 Combating Autism Re-authorization Act, put the identification of "several autism susceptibility genes" on the short list of the top reasons to continue supporting millions of dollars of government funded autism research each year. 

Blood tests are now available to test for genetic variants associated with autism.  Universal Family Church believes it is outrageous that the fruit of past government research have been used to create tools that could be used today for selective abortions - abortions potentially performed based on only a slight probability that a child might develop a disability or disorder. 

Society must find ways to ensure that future federal spending for genetic research is not used to expand the abortion tool kit.

Kevin Barry
Founder, Universal Family Church

Universal Family Church is a multi-faith Church founded in 2010.  Our four central tenets are based on what we believe God intends regarding the principles of Health, Equality, Love and Peace.  www.universalfamilychurch.org

 

 

 

Comments

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chromo_sommer

I believe in prenatal testing, abortion, and euthanasia.
I myself wish I had been euthanized.

S J Rittenhouse

While I agree that severe cases of autism can be hard for both the person with autism and the parents, not all autism is bad. Some believe Albert Einstein may have had autism. Some even believe that Di Vinci my have been autistic. I personally do not view my own autism as "hell." Once again, treatment for severe cases is important. My only fear is that by eradicating those with autism, we might be getting rid of those that can change the world for better.

John Stone

Monica R commented on Kristina Chew's article for Autism Pride day today on Care2:

"And June 26th is Ulcerative Colitis Pride Day, because its not so much an illness or problem, just a digestive "difference"."

I couldn't be prouder of my son but autism no.

Carolyn M

Concerned Mom is right. Autism is neither "wonderful" nor "a gift".

Gastrointestinal dysfunction including such things as: Inability to eat without the use of digestive enzymes; food intolerances; chronic candida; other xenobiotic infestations such as clostridia dificile, pseudomonas, citrobacter; chronic constipation or diarrhea; malabsorption of nutrients; other maldigestion; lack of growth or very slow growth. All of this except for the last causing SEVERE PAIN - which in turn will lead to SIBs and aggressive behaviors.

Children with autism also frequently have immune dysfunction, seizures, etc.

All of this is not "wonderful" or "a gift" in itself. When you also factor in that there are a sizable portion of children with autism who do not have sufficient expressive language to communicate that they are in pain - much less any detail regarding location, type, etc. - then you see an extremely different picture. If all this were to be inflicted on a criminal, then it would be said that he had been tortured.

Our children are in a form of hell.

Nevertheless, pre-screening and abortion are not the answer. We need more effective biomedical treatments. We need more awareness that our children are actually sick; and we need autism to be taken out of the DSM altogether.

Adam M

@ sesly

Please read THE AGE of AUTISM MERCURY, MEDICINE, AND A MAN-MADE EPIDEMIC and then EVIDENCE OF HARM. Autism is brain damage from several things but chiefly heavy metals such as mercury and aluminum the most significant exposure being vaccines. (and dental amalgams) As far as us all having a little autism it is more likely we all have some brain damage as a result of our exposure to these metals and a piss poor Standard American Diet (SAD) that leaves us stripped of our defenses. As long as people ignore this and call autism, ADD, ADHD, Alzheimer's and all other neurodegenerative diseases "wonderful" there really is no future for this country. This must be what Rome was like at the end. And by the way that is a very utilitarian way of looking at these children. As if the high functioning ones had to give up their social skills and ability to make friends just to serve the masses with there heightened math and computer skills. Most of these kids probably could have done both. And as for the low functioning ones if it weren't for DAN! by the grace of God we may never know. But miracles do happen everyday.

Rachael

A world without introverts would be a world with few scientists, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers, doctors, mathematicians, writers, and philosophers. One of the near universal traits of autism is introversion. Introversion does not mean you are shy, but it does mean you have a lower baseline for arousal. Many introverts are gifted, as are many children with autism. Research shows that introverts have higher levels of certain types of brain activity and are more sensitive to some kinds of stimuli, including vaccinations. Introversion is something that is hard-wired in the brain from birth.

When I look at the test to diagnose autism spectrum disorder, I often feel that what I am looking at just describes an introverted personality; something that was once considered to be very normal. Maybe, that child would have grown up to be a happy, healthy, intelligent introverted adult, like many of their parents, if it hadn't been for the vaccine trigger.

Concerned Mom

At the risk of starting a s**t storm, and I apologize in advance if my comment does indeed do that... If I have to hear one more time how 'wonderful' autism is or what a 'gift' it is or how as human beings we can't live without autism, my head will explode. You have to be effing kidding with that nonsense! Tell it to the low-functioning kids who can't self-regulate or can't use a toilet or live with constant discomfort at best and agonizing pain at worst and can't make friends no matter how hard they try. Tell them and their families, who have tried desperately to find help leaving no stone unturned only to find that NOTHING works, how freaking awesome autism is!

I am NOT saying that pre-screening and abortion are the answer. What I am saying is that telling everyone that autism is just dandy and that everyone with it will do just fine if they get the right supports/education is NOT the answer either. Its bulls**t.

sesly

autism is not a terrible thing. everyone that has it is different because as human beings we are all different.with the proper support and expert nurturing a wonderful unique and important human being can develop into a wonderful and different person. mine is 11 with high funtioning ASD and he has had a lot of input from school and us learning about autism,there is so much to learn. We need autism. We need the difference and intelligence that invents and creates things.The test will not say to what extent the disability will be.Autism costs more in finance and time because it requires special handling,but the end results are worth it.We all have some autism in us to destroy a human being on the basis of a pre natal reading is to destroy our selves

sesly

very scarey. if people abort for a gene that might link to autism,then it won't show the scale of the disability and people like Bill Gates will not be born what a great loss for humanity. Autism is needed for human advancement for the rocket scientists,the mathmeticians,the artists and for the computer sciences we all use and more,its a evil notion to think they can use pre natal testing to cure autism which will result in the death of a positive reading for many human beings that are different.

Adam M

@ Sarah
RE: Doesn't anyone think critically anymore? I mean besides us.

I've asked that myself but now I realize that, just like me, it takes a calamity in our lives to wake most of us up out of our media induced slumber. It's not all the media either. We have a willingness to take the path of least resistance, to just follow the herd, that is until we get a shock that makes us see clearly who the shepherds are and that the road we are walking is awfully broad. Suddenly the narrow path doesn't look so crazy. A lot of good has come out of this struggle for my family and friends. Had this tragedy not befallen our family I can assure you we would still be as clueless as most about vaccine danger, Pharma fraud, food industry fraud, correct nutritional principles some demonstrated over 70 years ago and the role of other lifestyle choices in determining our well being.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
ROMANS 8:28

Joseph said to them,"Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me ; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.
GENESIS 50:19 & 20

John Stone

It is interesting that the "philosoher" and "bioethicist" Julian Savulescu who was in the special GAVI issue of the Lancet last week, arguing that parental refusal to vaccinate is child abuse, is also an advocte of eugenics:


"In its basic sense, the term "human" is a term of biological classification: an individual is human just in case it is a member of the species Homo sapiens. Its opposite is "nonhuman": nonhuman animals being animals that belong to other species than H. sapiens. In another sense of human, its opposite is "inhuman," that is cruel and heartless (cf. "humane" and "inhumane"); being human in this sense is having morally good qualities. This paper argues that biomedical research and therapy should make humans in the biological sense more human in the moral sense, even if they cease to be human in the biological sense. This serves valuable biomedical ends like the promotion of health and well-being, for if humans do not become more moral, civilization is threatened. It is unimportant that humans remain biologically human, since they do not have moral value in virtue of belonging to H. sapiens."

This is what they do in Oxford these days.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21076074

Meanwhile, Savulescu has teamed up with immunologist Adam Finn in the Lancet to crack the whip at parents that do not do what they say.

oneVoice

They will try to identify all "disease related genes" and
will try to reduce this "personal,national and economic burdens".We all know what that means.Parents always have the option to decline genetical testing.I agree with your readers,it is not going to help our children.Diagnosis will be made earlier, one day it all be done prenatally.Only
the perfect fetus with the perfect genetical make up will be allowed to develop.

Lorene Amet

De novo CNVs have not been proven by any means to be markers of autism, let alone be causative of the condition. It is found elevated in a very small small proportion of cases, ranging from 5-11%, depending on the studies. Furthermore, CNVs have been found to associated with other conditions (likely because all they are is surrogate markers for environmental triggers): cancer cells, lower susceptibility to HIV infection, systemic lupus erythematosus and similar inflammatory autoimmune disorders, schizophrenia and idiopathic learning disability.

This is a very premature and inconsiderate development from people who have inflated faith in genetic studies, limited overall understanding of science and biology, and unfortunately, a very strong financial economic flare.

None of this will ever help autism.

veritas

In my opinion it is all about depopulation. Scare enough the expecting mother and she will get rid of her child. The next news to be expected is about planned euthanasia of autistic children.

Sarah

I agree that it's not primarily a genetic disease I think it's inflammatory disease or the result of an immune system that's gone haywire.

That won't stop unscrupulous people from trying to make a buck. When it comes to the drug industry, our kids are the most exploited children ever. First they injure our kids, then try to push their drugs on them (which very often makes them much worse) now they use their DNA to scare new parents into running pre-natal tests for autism. It just never ends.

I feel like we our bearing witness to one of the biggest medical scams/ manipulations in human history. I'm amazed at how many people buy into the manure that's put out there by Pharma. When did so many people turn into sheep?

Doesn't anyone think critically anymore? I mean besides us.

Kerbob1

I guess some folks don't get it.

When educational authorities tell parents "It had to be the vaccines causing the epidemic because we are consolidating/combining classes, there's an obvious decrease in ASD children, and the cases of incoming ASD children are all high-functioning (less Thimerosal) and mainstream in a year or two", and... seeing "the silver bullet" arriving to falsely take credit for that decline....it boils down to the fact that the statistics being kept secretly behind the backs of real researchers bare out the fact that Thimerosal moms and dads are victims of their success.

Dr. Bernard Rimland declared the American Autism epidemic over when the AAP and the Public Health Service made the appropriate call to remove Thimerosal from vaccines.

Despite evil disease-mongering efforts of the likes of Paul Offit to re-introduce Thimerosal-laced vaccines into the bodies of infants and toddlers faster than Thimerosal-containing vaccines disappeared from the open market, ordinary moms and dads deserve credit for saving countless scores of American kids from ethyl-mercury exposures leading directly to neurological disability.

They've known it all along.

''In some instances I think full disclosure can be harmful. Is it safe to say there is zero risk with Thimerosal, when it is remotely possible that one child would get sick? Well, since we say that mercury is a neuro-toxin, we have to do everything we can to get rid of it. But I would argue that removing thimerosal didn't make vaccines safer -- it only made them perceptibly safer.'' - Paul Offit, November 10, 2002

"He cannot have found something that suggests a link between autism and vaccines, because of the possible consequences of such a finding." - Paul Offit

cmo

With 75 years of genetic study... a prenatal test and abortion options is all that has been provided for Down's Syndrome.


With Autism rates of 1 in 50 boys... which could be confused with the "gene" for the 1 in 6 rates of ADHD/"Autism light" (both which have 4 to 1 boy girl ratios) ..... it would look to be boom for the abortion mills.

Dr. Manny of Fox News a few days back.. has found the cause of Autism.

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/06/09/dr-manny-says-autism-breakthrough-is-realfor-now/?test=latestnews

from researchers from Yale, Columbia and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory... Their findings confirmed a .....growing body of evidence..... that autism can be caused by a .....random genetic mutation...... that could occur at any one of hundreds of different sites in the human genome.

It would seem that an accurate genetic test for Autism which some dimwits believe can occur at hundreds of different gene sites... would be damn near impossible.

Benedetta

jersey joe
Thanks for the laugh! Right on!

Heidi N

Anyone claiming to be able to predict autism via prenatal testing is - well, let me just say, it' so sick, I don't even want to think about it.

Scienceguy

I feel I have to comment here because there is a lot of misunderstanding.
First, autism is not a genetic disease. However, some people with an autoimmune history and certain genetic mutations can have a higher risk for autism. Some of these risk factors mean a reduced ability to detoxify and higher sensitivity for oxidative stress.
Genetic testing to see if someone has a higher risk for autism could help to make dietary and other changes both for the mother during pregnancy or for the child after birth to reduce the risk. The dietary change could mean eating antioxidant rich foods, other changes could be removing amalgam fillings prior to getting pregnant, not using certain chemical at home, spacing out vaccinations, etc.
A lot of scientists feel that waiting for the CDC/DHHS to realize that the current vaccination schedule is bloated is futile.. People need tools now to guide them how to reduce the risks.. You might say that you can do the preventive changes anyway but knowing you or rather your child is at risk can help you make changes in your life that you might not do otherwise, and the genetic testing can be a guide in that.
I do agree that genetics are overhyped because other than monogenic diseases, most diseases are not only determined by genes. And yes, the government is spending way too much on genetics research and very little on environmental causes. They are frozen and frightened to find out that the sacred vaccine program might turn out to be a not so perfect tool after all.

Harry H.

This sounds like another "False Profit" to me. Honestly, it sounds like so many other biotech companies over the last 30 years looking for a "HOT" disease to make a test for and hoping to make a quick buck. Autism is sad enough without the hyped up pre-whatever testing.

Let's do a vaccinated vs unvaccinated study and then start looking to prescreen. Until we do that study the rest of this is all bullshit.

Mother to my autistic son

TERMINATION of a healthy child- wether it has downs autism or anything else Is MURDER. I have an autistic child, and he is bright, funny and very intelligent as well as healthy. Why? Because I didn't and would never have discriminated against him and his human rights. Even before his birth. Anyone who supports these tests want to open their minds and put the Monetary costs to cancer research or a cure for aids. Fools!

tiredmom

I don't understand. Is this being marketed as a genetic test for autism? If so, that's false advertising. Would it not be illegal? If it is just a prenatal test for Fragile X then it should be pointed out that you can have the Fragile X gene without having autism. I am not sure what the percentage of people who have Fragile X who also have autism is but it is not 100%.

Also, I think all this is unethical and immoral and when there is a disorder/illness that causes so much hardship the first thing that money should go to should be alleviating suffering. ARE THERE BETTER WAYS TO REDUCE THE INFLAMMATION THAT IS MAKING OUR CHILDREN SUFFER SO??? Sorry for screaming but I want someone to start finding new answers to that soon.

chantal Sicile-Kira

Genetic research is good because it can shed some light on treatment. However, I am against using the information for making choices about ending a life based on what you think is a good Quality of Life.

Years ago when I was living in France, I remember that at the time any scientific discoveries were not allowed to be applied or marketed until it was reviewed by ethics board who deliberated a long time before deciding what use would be allowed from the knowledge acquired. I remember watching a televised debate - they were debating the use of such genetic tests for allowing people to end pregnancies. Half the debaters were people with diseases / conditions who had genetic conditions. They were alive, handicapped, and they would not have been there had the test been used for the purpose of ending pregnancies. They were happy to be alive despite their handicaps and were there arguing against the use of the tests.

In China they used to abort female fetuses when they were only allowed one child, because everyone wanted a son.

And as Lisa@Taca demonstrates in her comment - these tests are not always accurate.

I think there needs to be much thinking about consequences, implications and ethics before allowing the application of such scientific discoveries.

Frank

I think that all people understand that deciding to end another human life outside of the need for self-preservation is murder, but we are so good at rationalizing our decisions that many do it anyway.

Until that can be changed we're just sweeping back the rising tide with a kitchen broom. But I'm determined to keep sweeping. Who else has a broom?

Donna L.

Could be time for another 'Best of AofA' piece:

http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/07/new-autism-consortium-study-proves-again-that-inherited-genes-dont-cause-autism.html?cid=6a00d8357f3f2969e201348544bda5970c

Benedetta

Lisa @TACA Is telling the truth.

I know two families that this happened to, also.

Creepy!

Dadvocate

Dr. Fleitas - The issue with me is HOW they are marketing this test, not the value of early intervention or genetic research. Unless the person tested is fragile x, it will likely tell a physician nothing that will lead to earlier intervention for any of the other subtypes. But they aren't marketing it as a "better" fragile x test (unless you read the fine print). Rather, they are marketing it to screen for "AUTISM" in big bold letters, the implication being if you get a negative, you don't have autism.

We're talking about a spectrum disorder which the medical establishment tells us there are no known medical tests to use to diagnose. These guys are stating otherwise in their marketing materials in an effort to sell more tests. That's not OK.

jersey joe

It's 1984 in 2011! My question is when is the blood test coming out that can identify future pharma lobbyists? Maybe we can nip them in the bud.

Carter Combes

Interesting take on this company. Not really sure where you came up with your position but everything here points to identifying children who are displaying certain autism criteria early so they can be enrolled in the state early intervention programs and make massive strides in improvement.

Lisa @TACA

A close friend tested positive to the Down Syndrome test early in her 2nd trimester. The doctors offered the alternative to end the pregnancy.

A few months later - a healthy baby boy was born. No issues whatsoever.

Sometimes theses tests can be wrong.

Sarah

Jenny,

With the availability of these tests, I would like to think that policies would be put in place that would require genetic pre-screening prior to vaccinating but as they say the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

The government has made no attempt to budge on it's vaccine for all policies or it's cookie cutter approach. If anything they're getting more militant. I don't think they have any intention of changing the immunization policy for those who are genetically sensitive. Their solution is not to treat but abort the genetically "unfit". The height of arrogance.

It's horrifying to us but in the context of a eugenics agenda it all makes sense.


Cynthia Cournoyer

Besides the fact that genetic testing for autism is not 100% reliable ......

With all the talk lately about "triggers" and environmental influences, would this be the first time abortion would be considered if someone MIGHT become autistic? If people have pre-dispositions for autism, just waiting for a trigger, it follows that it's possible you could abort a child that would not ever develop autism.

Just another way of avoiding the elephant in the room --- vaccines.

Dadvocate

Sarah -
"I'm not against genetics research because yes, it could shed some light. My fear is how our kids genetic information will be used or misused."

100% agree. That is why the field of bioethics exists. These are controversial issues and impact many people differently according to their beliefs.

I personally think strong hurdles should exist to prevent marketing and disseminating genetic information to just anyone and quality genetic counseling (to provide parents and individuals with balanced information) should be a required element of any testing. Some heavily marketed test that promises more actionable information that it really provides doesn't pass the ethics smell test to me. Post diagnosis, my son was screened (negatively) for fragile x to rule it out and help id his subtype (regressive)in order to choose appropriate treatment options. That was nearly 15 years ago. Fragile x testing is nothing new. Marketing "autism" tests is.


Jenny Webster

First, not sure how they feel there is a reliable predictor of future autism development.
Second, Yes tax payer dollars should go to the research b/c if we can identify, it could help us figure out who to NOT vaccinate --among other things. This could be very useful science (not that I think they will figure it out --just saying, "if they could")
Third, it's my choice. And I wouldn't choose another autistic child. GET OVER IT. That doesn't mean that I don't love my son. It means that I am bankrupt, stressed to the point of being incredibly unhealthy, and in over my head. Some of you surprise me with how disgusted you are over people choosing to abort ill fetuses. Very judgmental. If you are against abortion, be against abortion --but don't just be against the aborting of certain fetuses.

Richard Fleitas, Psy.D.

Were a test like FirstStepDx being used by physicians and families for prenatal screening there would be great cause for alarm. However, since Lineagen promotes early identification & intervention and explains why the test should only be considered for those children displaying signs of delay, the leap to prenatal usage appears premature.

The significant positive impact that early intervention can have on a wide range of developmental disabilities is substantial. I would suggest that a focus should be put on identifying those individuals and entities abusing scientific advances. The scientists working towards a better understanding of the role genetics may play in developmental disorders and ways this information can inform treatment should be supported.

Sarah

At least one of the researchers of this recently released study on autism and DNA mutations are from Cold Spring Harbor lab in NY which has links to the eugenics movement.


Autism linked to hundreds of genetic mutations

The teams, led respectively by State at Yale and by Michael Wigler, a genetics researcher at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., then compared the DNA of those with autism to that of their unaffected siblings.

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jun/09/health/la-he-autism-20110609

Eugenics- Cold Spring Harbor lab

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenics

Kfuller Yuba City

How do we find out if Autism Speaks funded research for this?

Jennifer Hutchinson

That turns my stomach.

Jerry

Sarah and AutismDad have it right: this is about eugenics. Vaccines and eugenics go together. The polio virus for vaccine development was grown in murdered unborn baby flesh. The March of Dimes that pushed polio research subsequently pushed for prenatal testing in the quest of reducing birth defects. You see, if you kill the kids before they're born, you reduce birth defects. Indubitably logical! Here is a link to the deadly operation of the March of Dimes:

http://www.michaelfund.org/A_MOD_Primer.php

Joe

Everything is genetic, don't ya know? Don't talk about the oceans of vaccines, toxic chemicals, etc. rammed into the arms and buttocks of millions of young children.

Nothing see here folks, move along....

barbaraj

They "may" be able to determine the genetic risks beyone hopping on the already known fragile x, downs, and others, one day, however, the risk is just that, a risk. In the case of regressive autism, the vaccine or other environmental assault must be in place to cause the disease, to test for the genetic weakness to avoid the vaccines would be okay, imo. This may help end the epidemic, as well as open a future for avoiding many other vaccine induced diseases, such as diabetes and asthma, that are raging through our youngest of populations.

Jen

Donna L, LMAO! How true. If you didn't laugh at this ridiculously stupid idea you would cry.

Sarah

Dadadvocate,

How do you think prospective parents will use these tests? Say a test comes back negative for Fragile X but shows several variants found in autism (when compared to the autism genome database). What do you think might be the outcome?

I'm not against genetics research because yes, it could shed some light. My fear is how our kids genetic information will be used or misused.

Benedetta

It says on Lineagen's website:

"Innovative Genetic Testing and Counseling Services"

"Lineagen provides innovative diagnostic and consultative healthcare services for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), combining genetic testing with comprehensive, personalized consultative services."

The company is selling "SNAKE OIL" and are just waiting for some one with one autistic cousin to contact them.

At one time I had enough faith that the Unitied States Government could not be taken by such because this is the "Age of REASON".

Sarah is right there is nothing that can be tested for except fragile X.

Donna L.

In a weird way, this has the potential for proving our point. Say Mr. and Mrs. Z choose to have the testing done, and all (supposed) autism related genetic variants turn up negative. Baby Z goes on to receive all CDC recommended vaccines and later ends up with autism. Genetic? I think not.

Dadvocate

"sarah" (small S) seems on the right track to me. I just complained to the FDA (you should too) because, while this company is and should be free to market government approved tests for Fragile X to anyone they want, conflating the broad term "autism" with Fragile X appears to me to be highly misleading and unethical. Unlike many here, I support genetic research because I think it'll uncover therapies for SOME subtypes on the spectrum.

Unfortunately, allowing companies like Linagen to make overly broad and misleading claims about autism testing will set back genetic research. The folks at ASAN are going to have a field day with this one.

Sarah

If they have the DNA of autism families collected and catalogued in a genomic database then they can just screen fetal tissue even embryos against this DNA. So whether or not a child has Fragile X or some other purely genetic condition, as long it as show similar DNA (meaning a risk for autism) to that in the autism genome database then that might frighten new parents enough to abort or select Pre Implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD).

What is PGD?

http://www.reproductivegenetics.com/pgd.html

Who will survive? It'll come down to the fit vs. unfit.

Just makes me sick.

AutismDad in PA

I might also add that the current adminstration in D.C. is very pro-abortion, particularly HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who has no qualms about late term abortion, seeing as how she celebrated the now-deceased abortionist George Tiller with a party in her own governors mansion.

Just saying... I wouldn't put anything past this current crowd in power, and their buddies like Sen. Reid and Rep. Pelosi.

CHOP -  genes, mitochondria, vaccines OH MY!

CHOP - Where have we heard that connection before?

"Lineagen has in-licensed best-in-class genetic research data from notable establishments, including the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to form the most extensive proprietary data set on ASD in the world."

"With its roots in fundamental research, Lineagen continues to invest heavily in genetic test development, including a 9000 person study in collaboration with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, to better understand the genetic basis of autism spectrum disorders."

AutismDad in PA

Someone should heed the kind of things that Ethics Professor Peter Singer of Princeton has said... namely that it is okay to even wait a little while after birth to determine if one want's their child, and if not, it is okay to terminate. It don't take too much of a leap of what can happen when you apply this to autism and these emerging "autism" tests.

Julie Leonardo

Having a child with DS, I can attest to the fact that genetic testing is an abomination. It is now offered in teh first trimester and we already have a 90+% rate of abortion of fetuses with DS. They do it with the supposed intention of giving people advanced warning to prepare. But I can tell you that most of the docs have outdated outcome information. Others push to abort. There was finally a law proposed to get more accurate info out there (by Huckabee, I think)about the current situation with kids with DS. I believe it was also supposed to apply to all disabilities. This was to give moms the ability to make a truly informed decision. I think it passed.

LInda

My personal feelings about abortion aside, are they suggesting abortion on the possibility that the child might develop autism? Do all people with these gene combinations become autistic or just some? I will be very sarcastic now, but should we develop tests to see which children might be diabetic, have asthma, develop MS in the future and advise termination of those pregnancies also? I don't want to see money spent on how to selectively abort children, but rather on how to prevent these disorders from emerging in the first place. I don't think I am going to get what I want.

Sarah

Oh, and consider the name of this company "Lineage(n)". A company that offers pre-screening for genetic conditions. Is this referring to germlines? eugenics? makes me wonder.

sarah

they can test for Fragile X - but no way are they going to be able to predict regressive autism. Since the current crisis stems from damage sustained in the world, they don't have a hope of identifying the 1 in 100 - or whatever the figure is now, before birth. Just another distraction - another smokescreen.

Sarah

I knew this was coming. I almost voluntarily gave over samples of my DNA, my husbands and my sons DNA to the autism genome project. The DNA is catalogued and put in a registry. I started to think, "well, why do they want our DNA and what do they plan to use it for?" and lo and behold we have now have test kits. That's why they wanted our DNA. Their idea of new treatments is to eliminate the genes that pose a risk for autism. They want to cleanse the gene pool.

If we keep moving in this direction, our society will become divided between the genetically pure vs. impure. Designer babies will be available only to the wealthy. Right out the movie of "GATTACA".


lisa

Well, this is the direction that the research has been going in from the start: Let's find the magic gene so that we can... what? Find a cure for a genetic abnormality? Not likely. The only possible explanation for this drive to find the magic gene (other than to deflect attention from the vaccine controversy) was so that the gene could then be identified in the womb and the baby could be aborted, just like with Downs Syndrome. And, as with Downs, once that possibility presents itself, people will not just be given the option; they will be EXPECTED to abort. You will be considered a bad person if you choose NOT TO abort. Along with that expectation will be the acceptance that there is simply nothing else that can or should be done to further understand and try to prevent, treat, or cure autism (read: Downs). It's just bad genes.

Ironically, in the face of all this fatalism, a story came out last year about some research indicating the possibility that mental retardation in Downs can be reversed.

John Stone

I think we should be very worried with the current state of science that anyone thinks that you can screen for autism, quite apart from any other moral concerns.

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