Diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Effect (Fae) Term Paper

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¶ … diagnosis of fetal alcohol effect (FAE) and fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).

Fetal alcohol system is a preventable cause of birth defects and physical and mental disabilities, which results from a mother's heavy consumption of alcohol during pregnancy. But no level of alcohol consumption is safe during pregnancy, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Mothers who drink even small portions of alcohol during pregnancy can have babies afflicted with fetal alcohol effect. While children diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome often exhibit "abnormal" facial feature and obvious physical and mental growth deficiencies (Fetal Alcohol), those diagnosed with fetal alcohol effect often suffer from milder, but similar, ailments. According to the Centers for Disease Control, effects of fetal alcohol system include central nervous system deficiencies, learning disabilities, communications disorders, including speech and hearing problems, and problems seeing. Though infants diagnosed with FAS display observable physical deformities and obvious mental disabilities throughout their lives, those diagnosed with FAE can be affected with one or a cocktail of these disabilities, but casual observers cannot readily determine that they are so afflicted. Because of this, FAE sufferers may have more trouble adjusting socially than those diagnosed with FAS.

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If an infant is born to a drinking mother without any observable evidence of abnormal development, can we conclude there was no detrimental impact of alcohol during the gestational period?

Term Paper on Diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Effect (Fae) and Assignment

Even if an infant is born with no observable evidence of abnormal development, one cannot conclude that alcohol had no detrimental impact during the gestational period. Many infants, children, and adults affected with fetal alcohol effect do not have the tell-tale outward characteristics of alcohol effects. According to the March of Dimes, mothers who consume any amount of alcohol during pregnancy are putting their children at risk. Even if a child is born without the abnormal facial features or obvious behavioral and mental characteristics associated with FAS, heart defects, and other internal, and unobservable, physical and mental defects may be present.

Develop a sound rationale against the ingestion of any alcohol during pregnancy, or develop an argument in support of permitting occasional ingestion of a small amount of alcohol during pregnancy.

In 1986, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, was voted into law by a ballot initiative, and a list of chemicals that were know to cause cancer or developmental defects was published by mandate. Alcoholic beverages were on that list (Proposition 65). According to the CDC, about one in one thousand live births results in a child with fetal alcohol syndrome, and about three times that number are diagnosed with fetal alcohol effects. Because of these statistics and numerous tests, most have concluded that no amount of alcohol is safe for consumption during pregnancy. Because of both scientific evidence, and the complete preventability of fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal alcohol effect, women should completely abstain from alcohol during pregnancy.

A wealth of scientific evidence has proven that no amount of alcohol is safe for women to use during pregnancy. In March, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence issued a statement warning women not to drink during pregnancy. This information revoked previous information that advised women that moderate drinking during pregnancy was suitable (Alcohol Ban). Though some claim that no scientific evidence proves that one or two drinks each day are harmful to the baby, one of the biggest problems with any alcohol consumption is that mothers to be might not be able to stay within the moderate range. Because even women who do not drink heavily during pregnancy can cause birth defects in the child, a good range of acceptable alcohol use is almost impossible to find. Additionally, scientific evidence cannot rule out harmful effects of alcohol use during pregnancy. Using no alcohol is the only way to assure a child is born without any alcohol related effects (Alcohol Ban).

In addition to the scientific evidence that cannot rule out harmful effects due to a mother's alcohol use during pregnancy, fetal alcohol syndrome and effect are two completely preventable disorders. As a result of their status as preventable disorders, making all efforts to prevent them is the best course of action. Because the only definite way to prevent these disorders is by refraining from alcohol use entirely, and because scientific evidence cannot confirm that there are no adverse effects due to alcohol use during pregnancy, women should not consume any alcohol during pregnancy.


Discuss the rationales for and against viewing alcohol dependence as a disease.

From the science and medical world to the religious sector to the supreme court, professionals, sufferers, and their loved ones have debated the issue of alcoholism as a disease. Proponents of the Disease Theory of Alcoholism argue that, medically, alcoholism is similar to any other disease. Prolonged alcohol use can cause serious internal damage that ranks with some of the worst diseases in medical journals today. Additionally, alcoholism is degenerating like many other diseases. Over time, alcohol consumption results in a variety of degenerating physical conditions from sleep disorders to brain damage. Those who believe the disorder to be a disease reason that, like other disease, Alcoholism acts in a predictable manner.

Those who agree with the theory state that alcoholism is not solely the fault of the heavy drinker. Alcoholism has also been linked to uncontrollable factors, like heredity, that would make it fit well into the disease category. Some people are prone to heavy drinking, and will become alcoholics when exposed to the beverage, while others will not, the theory contends (Fingarette 4). But those who favor calling alcoholism a disease do so for more than scientific reasons. In her paper "The Disease Model of Alcoholism Revisited: Why People Drink," author Daryle Niedermayer suggests that classifying alcoholism as a disease removes some of the stigma surrounding the disorder and allows sufferers to get help (4).

But not everyone agrees that alcoholism is a disease. Some say the scientific facts do not prove that the condition is a disease, and a person choosing to make that claim is really choosing to avoid responsibility for his or her actions. Fingarette argues that not only is alcoholism scientifically far from the medical definition of a disease, but that calling the disorder a disease will persuade heavy drinkers from attempting to stop their behavior (4).

Though the scientific evidence may suggest that alcoholism is both a disease and a behavioral choice, proponents on both sides of the issue argue that the way alcoholism is viewed affects how its sufferers receive treatment.

Discuss the importance of cognitive factors and genetic factors in explaining why some people can drink in moderation and others become dependent on alcohol. Weigh the evidence supporting each of these two ideas.

The debate surrounding whether cognitive or gender factors are more prominent in explaining why some people can drink in moderation and others become dependent on alcohol has riddled the medical community for years. Current scholarship suggests that both factors are indeed reasons why some can drink without becoming dependent and others cannot, though opposition exists on both sides. For example, a person must have a cognitive motivation for drinking. Though Davidson, et al. Suggested that early research into alcoholism focused merely on the medical affects of drinking, scholarship soon found that "an individual's beliefs about the effects of drinking are important predictors of drinking onset, patterns, and frequency." Thus, those who have reasons for drinking expect results from this behavior -- they expect drinking to temporarily erase their problems. For this reason, those who drink with similar expectations are likely to become dependent on alcohol, while those who drink without expectations can usually drink in moderation.

Though cognitive factors are important when discussing those who can drink moderately vs. those who become alcoholics, this is not to say genetics should be ignored. On the contrary, according to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and alcoholism, medical studies have discovered a link between alcoholic parents and children that eventually learn to become alcoholics. This link does not, however, prove that a tendency toward alcoholism runs in a person's DNA. On the contrary, the link could be the result of a genetic predisposition to alcoholism or an environmental exposure to alcohol. Perhaps alcoholism tends to run in families because children are introduced to alcohol and alcohol-related problems at an early age. Similarly, the statistic that children who come from families without alcoholics tend to be able to drink moderately could be because of a genetic predisposition to handling alcohol or because values regarding alcohol were learned at an early age. Regardless, families who have a history of alcoholism can be diligent in participating in alcohol prevention programs in order to waive their risk, whether it is genetic or environmental.

Develop a series of insightful, reasoned statements reflecting your views on the effectiveness of current DUI laws, with specific reference to the behavioral impact of alcohol at various blood alcohol levels.

In the United States, a person can be arrested for driving under the influence[END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Effect (Fae).  (2008, May 7).  Retrieved October 24, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/diagnosis-fetal-alcohol-effect-fae/63017

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"Diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Effect (Fae)."  Essaytown.com.  May 7, 2008.  Accessed October 24, 2020.