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A physician should understand this situation from the couple’s point of view. They should remain impartial and compassionate conduits of information and support. I don’t, for example, know their lifestyle, and it’s not fair to assume what their reasons are for asking for sex selection. Wanting a specific sex for their child is a personal choice that the physician needs to respect and understand from a psychological and physical health point of view. It stands to reason that if the couple desires a specific sex for their child, then this will probably help them develop as a family if this desire is respected.

I think that it’s also important for the physician to understand any cultural reasons for wanting sex selection. If the physician were to impetuously judge or behave in a way that discourages the couple, then this might alienate them from seeking medical help in the future. The physician should ask the couple questions about their motivations in a neutral and positive tone to avoid making them feel like their desire is invalid or unimportant. The reason why being non-judgemental is so crucial is because I know that, for instance, there are examples of asymmetric male and female genetic histories among some specific groups. Furthermore, if this is the case for the couple, it would be important for me to know as the physician so I can apply this provision to future patients.

There are some who might think that sex selection for non-health related reasons is unethical. If the physician discovers that the couple has health-related reasons for wanting sex selection, I think it’s fair to side with the couple, as some conditions are more severely expressed in one gender. Also, some couples might have a history of losing a child of a particular sex, so it would be important to be sensitive to this situation if that is the case, even though it’s not a strictly health-related contingency. Finally, it’s important to discuss methods of sex selection, as the couple will need to know what each option entails to make a confident choice. In a country where sex selection is not prohibited for non-health related reasons, respecting the couple’s right to choose under reasonable circumstances should be the physician’s primary objective. (375 words)

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