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.
The Human Genome Project introduces significant scientific findings to the world, but raises a lot of controversies. Many of these controversies concern the application of this new scientific finding and its ethicality. Genetic information from a project, once aimed towards mapping the human genome in hope for curing diseases, are now being used in businesses. It shouldn’t be permissible for employers to require that all employees, as well as potential employees, be screened for genetic vulnerabilities and to use the results of such screening when they make hiring, retention, and job assignment decisions. These genetic vulnerabilities may include diseases, unsuitable personality traits and other traits the company deems undesirable. Employees shouldn’t be judged by their genes, because the results do not adequately speak for what the employees will do in life, the employee’s position in the society, and the employee’s financial standing. Genetic testing should be an option for the employees to decide on job assignment rather than influence the hiring decisions of employers. Genetic testing only shows genetic potential, not potential growth. Conducting genetic testings on employees infringes on their privacy and encourage more social gaps with genetic classes.
It is patients’ right to opt for genetic testing on their own DNA, although they are accepting a great risk by doing so.
The National Institute of Health (NIH), in coordination with President Obama, has set out in 2015 to tackle these very challenges with their “Precision Medicine Plan”, where the NIH is seeking over one million volunteers to provide health related data for “genetic factors... also the role of environmental exposures and their impact on genetic predispositions”, among other goals. (Steenhuysen, 2015) This project in the growing field of precision medicine is now feasible with the recent developments in the field of both data quality and analysis coupled with leaps in computing power that can back it up. (Warshaw, 2015) The NIH plan, while
The ANA named 2015 the “Year of Ethics,” which is highly appropriate due to the ever changing advancements in genomics (http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/EthicsStandards/CodeofEthicsforNurses/Code-of-Ethics-For-Nurses.html). Ethics is a great concern regarding genetic testing because the testing may affect an individual’s quality of life. In the 5th vignette, Interpreting Risk: The Impact of Life Experience, we see the viewpoints of two female roommates. Lisa’s mother suffered from breast cancer and died at a young age. As a result, Lisa was left with the feeling that death from breast cancer is inevitable for her. Lisa wants to receive genetic testing and if she tests positive will not have children even though she wants children
A lot of people in the United Sates are unwilling to participate in studies or undertake any genetic screening that may expose them to discrimination grounded on their genetics. That has patients from volunteering to take part in research
Basically the article claims that everyone is impacted by genetic testing, either positively or negatively. There are many potential benefits which can arise as a result of genetic testing such as individuals that are identified as carrying potentially harmful genetic alterations can receive regular
In recent discussions of medical advancements, a controversial issue has been genome mapping poses risks to its patients. On the one hand, some argue that it is going to be time consuming and costly. On the other hand, however, others argue that this can be a breakthrough in medicine. In sum, then, the issue is what America’s next step towards medical advancement is going to be. While some believe genome mapping poses many unseen risks, genetic testing can help identify unsurfaced illnesses.
If the genetic information is only accessible to the individual then there is a decreased chance of such discrimination occurring because the information is disclosed to who the individual wishes to. Genetic information can raise questions about personal responsibility, personal choice versus genetic determinism, and concepts of health and disease. Personal factors, family values, and community and cultural beliefs can mould the reactions to these issues. For example the response to the genetic information and suggestion from physicians after the test will be drastically different in a society where traditions and religion determine life choices, such as India, than to a more individually liberal society like the USA. Even in a progressive society that has had specific ethnic groups for multiple generations disparities with medical technology are common. A study conducted, using the national representative data, in the USA with the sample that consisted of 1724 men and women of non-Hispanic whites, Latinos, and African American background. Results exposed significant differences by racial/ethnic groups in knowledge and concerns about the potential misuse of genetic testing. Significantly higher levels of mistrust in a physician and the medical system was a common thread within minorities. The genetic tests can be a way of ridding anxiety attached to the assumed inheritance of genetic disease due to family background whilst for others the genetic test reveals their reality. The results can have a great deal of a psychological impact upon the individual. The possibility of developing a genetic disease alone can create anxiety within some. The psychological impact from the results revealed is another issue that society is concerned about. A
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
Crichton asserts that doctors can't get relevant information on certain illnesses and how we've been promised an era of personalized medicine. He argues that gene patents destroy that dream (442). He pushes for support of a bill that will ban gene patenting of genes found in nature, the Genomic Research and Accessibility Act (442). Calfee argues that the National Academy of Sciences have looked into these problems. Twice they commissioned surveys led by John Walsh and both times little evidence emerged that labs were hemmed by gene
When the emotions are put aside, DNA testing is a bewildering tool and a marvelous way to recognize the potential of one’s health. Results from a DNA test can be useful to plan ahead (Nazaret 63). A genetic test can detect “more than 100 rare but significant genetic diseases” (Nazaret 63). The simple test can save lives. By giving a person the chance, if possible, to prevent the disease from surfacing, can also improve their overall health. These genetic tests are becoming more inexpensive as their popularity has increased over the past several years (Gomy 16). The decreasing price has been an opportunity for genetic tests to spread among the public, and it has the chance of saving many lives even before the disease or cancer surfaces.
The episode, Cracking the Genetic Code from the television series NOVA investigates the implications of being able to sequence an individual’s genetic code. Doctors and researcher explore personalized, gene based medicine. It discusses how knowledge of gene sequencing can be used to help patients suffering from serious diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, and discusses how gene sequencing technology causes serious ethical concerns about privacy and discrimination.
These advancements in science are giving people amazing new perspectives on how to go about their medical lives, though all that information can potentially be harmful to citizens. How the government and other agencies, such as insurance companies, intervene and try to gain access to this information for its own personal benefits can affect whether or not people will use it. This technology, not being held under the FDA regulations, make it very scrutinized by the government in association with knowledge about possible mutations that could lead to diseases. Government agencies, such as the GAO or FTC, claim that these companies are “mislead[ing] consumers by making predictions that are medically unproven and so ambiguous that they do not provide meaningful information to consumers1.” The companies would argue that the purpose for the DNA sequencing is to give insight to possibilities that could affect the future health of its customers and would say that they aren’t giving a diagnosis of any diseases or cancers. Of course, the beneficial use of this technology to the government in fighting crime isn’t related to their stance on how non-meaningful their medical advice is.
2. Is it right to use genetic screening as a tool to keep tabs on their prospective enrollees?