Dutch doctors offer dna test to rule out serious genetic illnesses in babies

DNA testing. Photo: Depositphotos.com

Six family doctors in Groningen and Friesland provinces are offering patients the chance to find out if their baby risks a serious genetic illness via dna tests, Groningen’s teaching hospital UMCG said on Monday.

The doctors are providing the test for €950, which is not covered by health insurance,  and will also offer the option to people who are not signed up to their practice.

Fifteen doctors’ practices have been offering the tests to their own patients for the past two years, under the supervision of the UMCG. Six of these doctors are now going to continue the programme independently, the hospital said.

The test looks for 70 very serious inherited illnesses. ‘The chance of both the man and the woman being a carrier is one in 150,’ the hospital said. ‘If that is the case, the child has a one in 600 chance of actually having the disease.’

Couples who test positive but decide to press on with having a baby anyway, will be offered tests during the pregnancy to find out if their child does have the illness. They can also opt to use sperm or egg donation to remove the risk.

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