Reform Health Issues


Health and Heredity

Over 4,000 diseases are caused by single defective genes. Missing and sketchy health histories put adopted persons at risk, particularly as they age and need to know the risk factors for common killers such as cancer and heart diseases.

Albinism (ocular form)                       
Alzheimer’s Disease                                   
Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease                       
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia           
Familial Amyloid Neuropathy                       
Familial Polyposis of the Colon           
Growth Hormone Deficiency                       
Hemophilia A                                               
Incontinentia Pigmenti                       
Manic Depression (bipolar type)           
Muscular Dystrophy (Duchenne type)           
Osteogenesis Imperfecta                       
Polycystic Kidney Disease (adult type)
Spinal Muscular Atrophy Thalassemias
Von Willebrand Disease
Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome

Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency
Chronic Granulomatous Disease
Cystic Fibrosis
Familial Hypercholesterolemia
Fragile-X Syndrome
Huntington’s Disease
Lymphoproliferative Syndrome
Muscular Dystrophy (Becker type)
Muscular Dystrophy (myotonic type)
Ornithine Transcarbamylase Deficiency
Retinitis Pigmentosa
Sickle-cell Anemia
Tuberous Sclerosis
Wilms’ Tumor

"Morally, there is no family, and no person planning to have a child who can ignore the new genetic discoveries and techniques for preventing genetic disease. Your health and welfare and that of your (future) children are at stake. We all have a right and, indeed, an obligation to know about our particular genes and to consider the options available that increase our chances of having healthy children. We should also all have the freedom to exercise these options as we wish and as rationally as we are able."

"Knowing your family's health history can save your life," said Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. "By having the information readily available, doctors can more closely monitor a person's health for common diseases, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, or even rare disorders like sickle cell anemia or hemophilia, that can run in families."
Aubrey Milunsky, M.D.   

Source:  Heredity and Your Family’s Health, Aubrey Milunsky, M.D., 1992. The Johns Hopkins University Press.