Genetic-based and assisted reproductive technology of the 21st century.

S L Jones


The scientific advances of human genetics and assisted reproductive technology are redefining the concepts of health and illness by revealing the mysteries of the human genome and the process of conception, implantation, and diagnostic testing of the human embryo. The effect of these discoveries and their clinical applications will move from the tertiary to primary care arena through the ability to readily screen, diagnose, and treat some disorders and offer cure as the end result for others. In addition, the ethical, legal, and social issues, along with the attendant implications for professional practice, will need to be identified. Only a small portion of nurses have had to address the knowledge and practice issues associated with these advances. "Brave new families" are being created. Perinatal nurses must be prepared to meet the emerging needs of these families through the art and science of nursing.