Malformations Not Subject to a Simple Mode of Inheritance
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The birth of a malformed child is the most common reason for consulting a doctor as to the chances of further children manifesting the same defect. In most cases, the answer given is simply that the occurrence is accidental and a repetition in the family is as unlikely as lightning striking twice in the same place. This answer satisfies medical responsibility of reassuring the frequently deeply disturbed parents— and it may even be the correct answer. But, as with lightning, some houses are, for very definite reasons, more endangered than others and it is the business of the doctor to eliminate the possibility of such reasons or to evaluate them correctly where they do exist; reassurance on any other grounds would be negligent, not to say irresponsible.
KeywordsSpina Bifida Club Foot Cleft Palate Simple Mode Pyloric Stenosis
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