All 50 states already require all newborn babies to be screened for
certain diseases, most notably PKU, which causes mental retardation
that can be prevented entirely by putting the baby on a special
diet. Tests are being developed for more and more diseases.
Should newborn screening be limited to a few serious and preventable
diseases or should it be expanded as much as possible? Should
testing be mandated even for diseases for which there is no effective
treatment or where the test shows a risk, not a certainty of getting
the disease? For example, newborn screening is detecting mild
forms of cystic fibrosis, which may not actually cause illness.
The topic here is what screening should the
government mandate for all newborns, not what choices parents should
have. Make sure to focus on newborn screening, not prenatal
diagnosis. If your opinion is that some newborn
screening is good and some is bad, your conclusion must argue what
principle you think we should use to draw the line between the two.