Assignment: Genetic Testing
When Mrs. Cohen became pregnant with her fifth child, the medical team strongly suggested that she go for genetic counseling and possibly testing. After discussing the issue with their rabbi, Mr. and Mrs. Cohen decided not to have genetic testing. Again, they believed that “ whatever will be, will be” and that the unborn child’s health was in God’s hands.
Today, Judy went to the clinic for a routine follow-up appointment. This is her first visit since beginning school. Her respiratory status is good, but she is having more frequent stools. After being questioned, Mr. and Mrs. Cohen admit that they do not want the school to give Judy the required enzymes, which are recommended so that she can digest her food. They have not told anyone at the school that Judy has CF.
There are several issues to consider about this case:
What are the various ways in which religious beliefs can affect the understanding of illness?
How did the Cohens’ Hasidic belief system affect Judy’s treatment?
What are some of the main tenets of Hasidic Judaism?
Do you believe that the Cohens should have been required to have genetic testing done?
Do you think the Cohens mishandled Judy’s illness? Source: Cross Cultural Health Care (2003).
References Advameg Inc. (2008). Religion and dietary practices. Retrieved from http://www.faqs.org/nutrition/Pre-Sma/Religion-
and-Dietary -Practices.html Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012a, April 20). An estimated 1 in 10 U.S. adults report depression.
Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/features/dsdepression/
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012b, September). Getting blood pressure under control. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/Hy pertension/index.html
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. (2010). Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online]. Retrieved from www.cdc.gov/injury /wisqars/index.html
. When she was home, the family did have their daughter complete the course of antibiotics that was recommended, but they refused visiting nurse services because they did not want the neighbors to know about Judy’s illness.
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