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March 24, 1975

Amniocentesis in Tay-Sachs Disease

Author Affiliations

Millburn, NJ

JAMA. 1975;231(12):1229. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03240240009007

To the Editor.—  I wish to reply to Dr. Fred Rosner's letter in the May 13 issue of The Journal (228:829, 1974) regarding amniocentesis for Tay-Sachs disease.Dr. Rosner does not speak as a doctor for the obstetrician-gynecologist, pediatrician, psychiatrist, or for the geneticist. He speaks only for a small segment of Orthodox Jews, and I can refer him to Birth Control in Jewish Law by David M. Feldman:Mental health risk has been definitely equated to physical-health risk. This woman who is in danger of losing her mental health unless the pregnancy is interrupted, therefore would accordingly qualify.1The majority of the Jewish houses of worship in Baltimore took part in the massive screening for Tay-Sachs disease and, not too long ago, this was repeated in a Union, NJ, synagogue.We can only pray for the future that possible enzyme replacement may solve this and other sphingolipidrelated diseases.