The Effects of the Human Genome Project on Society

1697 WordsJun 16, 20067 Pages
What is the effect of the knowledge gained through the mapping of the human genome on society? Human genetics has remained a mysterious and spotty subject throughout history. The farther the human race advances, the more it learns and the more details it is able to clarify. Now, man has come to create a method of mapping out the complex and massive information stored within himself in order to better understand and further the health and lives of those around him. In the following text is explained the Human Genome Project, what it is and what it has accomplished; an objective view of the advantages to this research as well as the possible disadvantages that have arisen throughout the process. What are the long term effects of the…show more content…
One of the specific disadvantages to all the knowledge gained from the HGP and the possibility of genetic profiling becoming easily accessible and affordable is the potential for future genetic discrimination. Employers could decide not to hire a person based on their genetic makeup or health insurance benefits could be denied to someone who has been found to have an inherited tendency toward a certain gene. One opinion from collaborating writers Bartels, Caplan, Leroy and Gruyter is that "Almost inevitably, employers and insurance companies will seek to take advantage of this new knowledge" (65). Another of the popular debates the HGP has faced is that of the ethics behind cloning. Yes, the research could very well lead to the possibilities of cloning but it is an argument that has very little to do with the research itself. As with many of the arguments attempting to deter the research, the possible misuses of the information discovered are not the fault of the research itself. Some claim that attempts at human cloning have already crossed the line and that with the completion of the Human Genome Project the studies will uncontrollably excel. (Wilson, 40) However, cloning and whether or not it should be legal is an issue for the government to decide and restrict as
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