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August 5, 1974

Screening for Carriers of Tay-Sachs Disease

Author Affiliations

Jefferson Medical College Philadelphia

JAMA. 1974;229(6):640. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230440016016

To the Editor.—  Rosner has opposed screening for carriers of Tay-Sachs disease followed by amniocentesis (228:829, 1974) and selective termination of affected pregnancies on the basis of alleged rabbinical opposition to abortion (Lancet 1:359, 1974). Evans and Ellis (Lancet 1:575, 1974) quoted Rabbi Jakobovits as stating that "no general ruling can be given on the termination of pregnancies in cases where the generation of a diseased child is suspected or established. All such cases would have to be submitted to individual rabbinical decision." Rosner1 himself has acknowledged the lack of rabbinical consensus on abortion in these cases, and has written that since many important legal and moral considerations which cannot be spelled out in the presentation of general principles may weigh upon the verdict in any given case, it seems advisable to submit every individual case to rabbinical judgment in the light of the prevailing medical and other circumstances.