In chapter four of her book Genetic Dilemmas, Dena Davis asserts that it is unethical for parents to subject their children to genetic testing for the markers of adult-onset genetic diseases because it places an unfair constraint on a child’s right to an open future. It both removes the child’s ability to choose whether to be tested as an adult and has the potential to negatively alter the overall trajectory of their lives. While the current consensus amongst medical professionals is that such testing should be prohibited (Davis, _____), many concerned parents correctly point out that discouraging such testing creates a conflict of interests between the “beneficence model of patient care and the rights of parents to their own autonomy” (Davis, 75). The availability of commercial online and mail-order genetic testing kits further exacerbates this dilemma by enabling these dissenting parents to obtain test results for their children. Davis ultimately makes a convincing argument that “parental requests for genetic information about their children, when they have no immediate relevance to medical intervention or disease prevention, should generally be resisted” (Davis, 87). This paper seeks to demonstrate that in the case of testing for incurable, late onset genetic diseases, protecting the rights and interests of the child should take precedence over parental autonomy, and that there is a marked need for tighter regulation of commercial genetic testing in order to protect these rights.
As of 2011, more than 250 health conditions can be genetically tested, and more than 27 different companies offer genetic testing services.1 Direct-to-consumer testing (DTC) is increasing in popularity and prevalence in our modern health care society.2 DTCs are genetic tests that are available to the general public, through phone or web, and are issued without the help of a health practitioner.1 Eventually, DTCs will be used to evaluate a wide variety of diseases.1 Currently they can be used to trace cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and heart disease.1,3 DTC testing has become part of a thriving healthcare marketplace.4 A variety of companies offer DTCs, like Myriad, one of the most popular product lines.4 The prevalence of DTCs is becoming controversial in health care, primarily because of the possibility of consumers misinterpreting and having trouble coping with the tests they receive, especially without any assistance.4 DTCs work by analyzing single nucleotide polymorphisms.4,5 Common techniques include karyotyping, polymerase chain reaction, and DNA sequencing and microarray.1
These test can also be medically unhelpful and won’t lower your risk of diseases. Therefore, instead of spending 200$ on a useless DNA test, you could use your money wisely to improve your lifestyle.
The door opens and your doctor steps into the room. The doctor is wearing a frown on his face. He tells you that they just got your tests back from the lab and wants to refer you to a genetic counselor. Given the current trend in our society man y of us may fare this situation in our future. But what does this mean to our lives, what can these tests really tell us? In this document I will address what type of tests are considered genetic screening and what they can tell us, the ethical argument s floating around in the media today, and how you should embrace this new technology.
There are current studies that also suggest that various parents might have an interest in predictive genomic testing in their children as Mrs. Allen does. Some parents have gone through the process of testing their child and feel that they want to give their children as much information as possible about their genes, so they can better manage their health (Borry, 2014). It is clear that predictive testing for low penetrance variants does not cause the same ethical, psychological, or emotional concerns as predictive testing for highly penetrant monogenic conditions but there is still a chance for damage. This is one of the many reasons why it is important to consider all aspects of the child’s well-being before consenting to have the child tested as it can also have an impact on their psychosocial
...might say about them; family members who did not request the testing may want to stay ignorant of the possible health implication such testing would provide. If the data collected is considered alarming but uncertain or not actionable, an individual does not necessarily have the right to know (Henderson, 2012). If genetic information is shared and put into the wrong hands, there is a chance for discrimination. Employers, insurance companies, educational institutions, and banks could use this information to make decisions about an individual based on what their genetic blueprint says about them. There are currently no state or federal laws governing the use of genomic sequencing data. Specific laws designed to protect genetic information only address where and by whom information is collected; it does not offer privacy protection to individuals (Gutmann, 2012).
In the United States, if someone needs to have a DNA test done, there is a possibility that it has been patented by a DNA research company. The problem with this is that it can raise the cost of a DNA test from about two hundred dollars, to over two thousand, depending on the test being done. Up to forty-one percent of the genes in your body are actually owned by another company, and are not legally owned by yourself. In particular, Myriad Genetics holds a patent in the BRCA1 and the BRCA2 gene, also owning at least fifteen nucleotides of BRCA1. The owning of these genes is significant because a defective BRCA1 gene can make one much more likely to develop breast or ovarian cancer, up to an eighty five or ninety percent chance. In addition, the BRCA1 gene appears in over 689 other genes that affect many other parts of the body such as brain and heart function. These genes were patented by Myriad in the 90s, shortly after their ability to be patented. When a doctor takes blood from a patient, immediately after it is drawn, Myriad owns it, and it must be sent to them for testing. The problem with patenting DNA is that technically speaking, you don’t “own” part of your own body, the genetic code that makes up who you are; rather a company does, and controls what is done with it and how it is tested. Biological patents are not limited to humans, they extend to the cattle industry, which leads to another problem in itself, the genetic engineering of cows and other animals.
...C tests. One theme cited was “recreation,” which leads to the speculation that the consumer is not well aware of the implications of the testing. Unexpected results can lead to more stress and anxiety, especially if they are not followed up by counseling services with an informed health practitioner. The research paper brings light to the fact that genetic testing is not always taken seriously, which may lead to further undue anxiety when the consequences of the testing become apparent.
DNA testing has always been the stuff of science fiction. The idea that you could see a person’s entire genetic code and maybe even manipulate it to make a perfect person, like in the movie Gattaca, was farfetched. DNA sequencing is no longer the stuff of science fiction. Since 1987 scientist have been able to find a crude DNA code. In 1990 the “Human Genome” project started and took thirteen years to complete. Since then DNA sequencing has improved in leaps and bounds. Before seeing DNA codes was not something that the average person could do. Now we have smaller versions of DNA tests that are used by police and for hereditary tests. These tests do not show an entire genetic code but they can be a pretty good match. Now people (who can afford
Abstract: Recent developments in genomic research have enabled humans to manipulate the genes of living organisms with genetic engineering. This poses a threat to nature's carefully balanced environment, since humans are constructing organisms that nature never intended to exist. Furthermore, the United States government does not require that genetically altered foods be labeled as such. Is this ethically responsible? Should we continue with these scientific advances if we do not understand their consequences? This paper analyzes the above questions.