Consanguineous marriages have happened all throughout history all over the planet, and in many places, there are still customary. You have some in your family history, it is almost a certainty. Here's a study under the heading of "Science and society: genetic counseling and customary consanguineous marriage."
Consanguineous marriage is customary in many societies, but leads to an increased birth prevalence of infants with severe recessive disorders. It is therefore often proposed that consanguineous marriage should be discouraged on medical grounds. However, several expert groups have pointed out that this proposal is inconsistent with the ethical principles of genetic counselling, overlooks the social importance of consanguineous marriage and is ineffective. Instead, they suggest that the custom increases the possibilities for effective genetic counseling, and recommend a concerted effort to identify families at increased risk, and to provide them with risk information and carrier testing when feasible.
There needs to be more studies of consanguinamorous relationships and how counselors, therapists, and others can serve them, whether or not the lovers plan to have children. Trying to discourage consenting adults from continuing their relationships is mostly wasteful and often cruel, and in insult to their fundamental rights.
This article was published in Nat Rev Genet and referenced in Journal of Clinical Research and Bioethics
- DOI: 10.1038/nrg754