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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Who will weigh genetic tests?

Christian voices must be heard in debates about disease and human dignity

Sharon Georgi still shudders when she thinks of those turbulent few weeks in each of her two pregnancies — the weeks she awaited the results of amniocentesis. More than 35 years old, she feared the genetic test would show an abnormality: What would she do?

Both times her doctor r eported good news, so she didn't have to decide. Now, more than a decade later, Georgi is a seminarian at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. She anticipates counseling parishioners who will struggle with results from a growing number of genetic tests.

In its brief history, genetic testing has forced many to choose between life and death — and to suffer consequences either way. As advances continue at a breathtaking pace, genetic medicine threatens to uproot core understandings not o nly about disease but also about human identity and dignity.


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December issue

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Advent: Waiting together

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