The answer has to be either yes of course or it depends. All of us have medical conditions that can be passed on. Some of these medical conditions are good ones like better immune systems against certain diseases. Some of these medical conditions like lactose intolerance or minor allergies are minor annoyances. Some are debilitating.
As most people have children and all have medical conditions, some people clearly are answering this question yes. I know people who choose not to have children because of certain genetic diseases, but who would have had children otherwise.
I’m thinking more of a significant impact rather than a minor annoyance. Something that would reduce life expectancy. Something that would require life long, probably unpleasant medical intervention (treatments, surgeries). Not something simple like having to avoid a food or take regular antihistamines.
In the middle of a panic episode years ago, I decided I couldn’t have kids and pass it on to them. As a Catholic person that’s difficult because one should be open to children within marriage. Of course being a wife and mother is too much of a risk on many levels, not to mention the lack of any offers.
My decision to not have kids came from a fear that I would be a toxic father like my evil dad was. I figured, when the chips were down, you’d treat your children as your parents treated you. I did not want to pass on that “curse” to any more generations. If you’d known Dad, you’d know what I’m talking about. Friends who knew me as a boy tell me, “Man, your dad was scary.”
Rather than laying that on everyone who asks, I blame it on plastic bags. The dry-cleaner’s garment bags warned, “To avoid danger of suffocation, keep away from babies and small children.” So I did.
Breast cancer runs rampant in my family. As in, maternal Grandmother, Mother and all aunt’s have died if it. My sister died last year of it. I now have 2 cousins battling it. My sisters daughters went in for genetic testing. One has the gene, she hurriedly had her children and had a hysterectomy and total prophylactic masectomy. My brother has the gene. He has one son (untested). I don’t have the gene, so my children are untested. I would probably have chosen not to have kids if I had known and had the gene. Sometimes ignorance is bliss ( or just dumb )!
I had an aunt who had one son with muscular dystrophy. Her husband was killed in WW II and she remarried. She said she assumed the disease was from his family which she knew little about and there was no instance of it in our family. Any geneticist–or informed layman like me–could have told her she was wrong. She remarried and had two children, one a boy who also had the disease and the other a girl. I hope someone explained to her that she had a 50-50 chance of being a carrier. In her circumstance, I would choose not to have children. Or be prepared to abort if the fetus had it. But I have lost track of them so I don’t know what happened. Since there was indeed no other instance in our fairly large family (my father was one of seven, including four boys) no one of whom had it, I assume it was just a random mutation.