Should an individual’s genetic information ever become public information?

Biology (MindTap Course List)
11th Edition
ISBN:9781337392938
Author:Eldra Solomon, Charles Martin, Diana W. Martin, Linda R. Berg
Publisher:Eldra Solomon, Charles Martin, Diana W. Martin, Linda R. Berg
Chapter16: Human Genetics And The Human Genome
Section16.6: Human Genetics, Society, And Ethics
Problem 3C
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Should an individual’s genetic information ever become public information?

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Step 1

Bioethics is related to medical policy, research and practices moral judgment. It works on four principles: - 

  • Respect for autonomy
  • Beneficence
  • Non-maleficence
  • justice
Step 2
  • Genetic information should not be linked with medical information. In both cases it is a person’s choice whether he/she wants to share it with the other person or not. 
  • Genetic testing is again a personal choice. But sometimes insurers and employers might have asked to undergo genetic testing which results in discrimination and favoritism. It exploits the principle of non-maleficence if it leads to discriminatory actions. It is completely their choice whether they want to undergo genetic testing or not and if yes, then with whom they want to share this genetic info.
  • Insurers and employees test to ask for genetic testing to know about the wellness of a person and sometimes after they get excess to their genetic info they exploit it and start discrimination by stating it under the workplace wellness program.
  • The genetic information of an individual proves to be helpful in the case of genetic research. In this case genetic info must be freely available and open for the research purposes but not at the expense of their right to privacy of medical info. Autonomy refers that it is the person who decides the collection, use, and dissemination of medical information
  • Genetic information not only is about the person itself it also discloses information of relatives, family and the past or the future of that person. It is the exploitation of genetic information without even asking the relatives of that person.
  • Sometimes it not only leads to discrimination but makes the person judgmental in the capabilities of the other person.
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