The experience of beta-thalassaemia and its prevention in Cyprus
Medicine and Law: The World Association for Medical Law 2008 December; 27(4): 825-842
Haemoglobinopathies are a series of hereditary genetic diseases which, if left untreated, usually prove fatal. The present paper discusses how one of the most important of these, beta-thalassaemia, afflicted the island of Cyprus in the last century and almost threatened to eliminate the whole population. In narrating the medical facts of the disease we point out the moral dilemmas which medical personnel, the state and the church had to deal with before they embarked on a program for the treatment and prevention of beta-thalassaemia. After careful study of the program we conclude that, although in the given case it proved a successful model for the management of beta-thalassaemia, it bears no resemblance whatsoever to eugenics.
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