Genetic testing has become a highly controversial issue among both the general population and the scientific community. It is a process that exposes a person’s entire genome sequence, allowing it to be read and evaluated to identify potential risks for genetic diseases or diseases that could be passed onto offspring (Holt Productions, 2012). With thousands of genetic tests already being used, and more being established, it seems logical to put this growing technology to use. Some agree that it is a person’s right to know and understand his or her genetic makeup. However, others argue that, despite the benefits of genetic testing, caution should be used to carefully inspect the risks associated with this new technology.
Law Enforcement keep notes on arrests that have founded people innocent of crimes, and retention of an innocent person's DNA can be charge or otherwise, seen as a invasion of that person’s privacy and civil liberties. Dr. Alec Jeffrey, a former professor at the University of Leicester laboratory, consulted with his lawyers to develop the new type of technique called DNA profiling. His technique would prove that DNA fingerprinting (profiling) can individualize evidence compared to the blood typing. DNA profiling compares 13 standard STRs to form a profile. The analysis used by the scientists, uses PCR and STRs to profile an individual. It is highly unlike that two individuals’ identical numbers of repeats for all 13 STRs, will match, which DNA fails is hardly never due to a successful match of 385 million to 1. This makes DNA profiling the most accurate tool in Forensics.
DNA testing is the most accurate way to identify an individual, and should therefore be used to increase the effectiveness of our justice system. This brings to light the issue of genetic privacy. Society questions the motives of government in DNA collection and floods the media, which acts as an informal actor on the court, with ideas of this invasion of privacy and encroachment of biological liberties. The 2010 article, Create a National DNA Database? stated that “such sensitive information is prone to misuse, and one should not have such blind faith in the security of government access to it.” EPIC, the electronic privacy
The benefits of genetic science for society is for employers who want to know if their employers are in excellent working condition and if the worker will cause them more money when obtaining health insurance. If an employer hires someone that that is healthy then the cost of health insurance does not rise and the employee will not have to downgrade their health insurance plan so that they can accommodate the employee that is not healthy. The limitations of genetic science for society are the possibility of genetic testing causing safety issues at work, the development of a genetic low class, the breach of privilege and confidentiality, and the utilization of genetic bias to excuse different methods of discrimination (Krumm, 2002).
Opponents argue that familial DNA searches invades their constitutional right of privacy under the Fourth Amendment. In addition, to being subjected to same equal burdens that convicted offenders would endure. For instance, people whose only fault is having the misfortune of being biologically related to the convicted offender. The innocent suspect would be burdened with a criminal investigation which can disrupt their lifestyles, such as disrupting their work and family relationships. Frederick Bieber, an authority on familial DNA searches and a medical geneticist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston argues that, “There’s no conflict between developing an investigative lead and protecting the privacy and dignity of individuals” (Ed. Louise I, 1). Basically, law enforcement must consider the interests of the innocent family members when they are investigating crimes.
In November of 1983, 15 year old Lynda Mann was found raped and murdered on a deserted road, and although police were able to obtain a semen sample from her murderer the case remained unsolved. In 1986 the killer struck again murdering 15 year old Dawn Ashworth, once again leaving behind semen, but this time the police were able to use DNA profiling to match the semen to a suspect. Colin Pitchfork became the first person to be caught based on mass DNA screening, and the first to be convicted based on DNA profiling. The use of Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) in the criminal justice system has greatly tipped the scales in favor of law enforcement, and changed the world that we live in. Court cases that in the past relied heavily on eye witness testimony and circumstantial evidence now have science to back them up. DNA analysis has revolutionized the criminal justice system, and even though there are some flaws, the use of DNA evidence should continue to be used by law enforcement.
Laws like GINA should be improved to allow citizens to have more privacy with their genetic information.
A few months ago I watched a movie called Gattaca, which dealt with the issue of genetic discrimination in the near future. In the movie, people were separated into two classes, those that were genetically screened and positively altered before birth and the class that was unaltered. The separate classes had stark divisions, from what jobs that you were able to apply for to where you could eat. Security was aimed at keeping unaltered people away from the enhanced people. Knowledge about who and what you are was done by "instant" genetic genotyping that tells anyone everything that they want to know about a person’s genome from a small sample of blood or a hair
Have you ever taken into account the fact that all your genetic information could be stored on one database; that at any time you could be identified for every action in a matter of seconds with the click of a button? This notion has caused a large amount of controversy among the global population causing a heated debate regarding the ethicality of having DNA databases. With a large amount of technological advancement and the growing fears of citizens, these DNA databases have started to rise in hopes of benefiting the global population. Critics opposed to this development have pointed out many flaws regarding the idea and continue to promote the restriction of the growth of these types of databases. Through extensive research, the
The Human Genome Project is the largest scientific endeavor undertaken since the Manhattan Project, and, as with the Manhattan Project, the completion of the Human Genome Project has brought to surface many moral and ethical issues concerning the use of the knowledge gained from the project. Although genetic tests for certain diseases have been available for 15 years (Ridley, 1999), the completion of the Human Genome Project will certainly lead to an exponential increase in the number of genetic tests available. Therefore, before genetic testing becomes a routine part of a visit to a doctor's office, the two main questions at the heart of the controversy surrounding genetic testing must be
DNA profiling was at first made as a framework for choosing paternity, in which tests taken under clinical conditions were examined for innate affirmation that could association watchman to adolescent. It initially progressed into the courts in 1986, when police in England asked sub-nuclear analyst Alec Jeffrey’s, who had begun looking at the use of DNA for wrongdoing scene examination, to use DNA to check the confirmation of a 17 year-old child in two ambush murders in the English Midlands. The tests showed the youngster was frankly not the offender and the genuine attacker was over the long haul found, furthermore using DNA testing.
Genetic genealogy can set the stage for discrimination and inequality for those seeking minority status, for benefits and government handouts, or alternately, it can hold individuals back because of racism or bigotry; and lead to ‘genetically repackaged discrimination’. There is an uneven playing field, with some entities recognizing genetic testing results, yet others are rejecting it. While seeking personal identity is a worthwhile endeavor, another perspective brings a host of psychological, social, legal, political, and ethical worries. It is possible to uncover undesirable, or unexpected genetic ancestral ties that could lead to diverse identity issues, and other emotional, or financial consequences. Increasingly, genetic testing, or DNA, is used as a genealogical resource; it has potential to be used as a tool by narrowing down possibilities, but it can, also, be scientifically inaccurate. There are limitations in the science, both with interpretation of tests results, and with the databases. Avoiding inaccuracies requires sampling strategies and creating human population margins from genetic data. In addition, interpretation of ancestry tracing needs to be made less complicated for the consumer. While uncertainties are inherent, geneticists are optimistic about the future of genealogy using DNA.
Genetic information can be identified at any point throughout a person’s lifespan from pre-conception until after death. In addition to heritable, biological information, family history, genetic test results, and medical records are also sources of genetic information” (Jenkins & Lea, 2005). We are put in a position to gather and retain information that could be utilized for a better future, but is confidentiality involved for the sake of profiting? Ask yourself, who should have access to genetic information? Who owns and controls it? How can families resolve conflicts when some members want to be tested for a genetic disorder and others do not?
With bounding advances in the field of genomics, genetic privacy has sparked a controversy. In the 1980s, the Human Genome Project was established to sequence the entirety of the human genome. The first draft of this project was published in Nature in February, 2001, about 10 percent short of completion (National Institutes of Health [NIH], 2015). Originally, scientists had hypothesized that there was anywhere from 50,000 to 140,000 genes. However, after the release of the first draft and the later completion of the full sequence in April of 2003, it was revealed that there were actually about 20,500 genes (NIH, 2015). Since April 2003, the structure, organization, and function of these many genes has begun to be better understood (NIH, 2015). As genetics moved forward, there was hope of application in the fields of criminal justice and medicine. According to the International Homicide Investigators Association, 40,000 unidentified deaths occur in the United States annually (Willing 2006). That means every year, 40,000 people have families who remain unsure whether their missing loved ones are still alive. If the justice system had access to a national genetic database, this issue could be resolved; if all citizens could provide the justice system with samples of their DNA, criminal cases and missing persons cases could be solved at a more efficient rate. Furthermore, if doctors had access to every patient’s genetic information, they could be informed about possible health
The fear of genetic discrimination is a phobia gripping many people around the world. People find themselves asking, could my genetic information raise my health bills? Could this cause me to be rejected from a job opportunity? These anxieties are causing people to lash out at genetic research, and ultimately the human genome project. People do not want our understanding of human genomics to advance. This is because the risks of the development of the technology could inflict on them. A major risk is genetic discrimination. I believe that genetic discrimination is wrong and governments should continue to prevent it because it is an invasion of privacy, it violates equity, and it could really hurt people with genetic