Since their development and introduction to the field of medicine more than a century ago, genetic screenings have become incorporated in many fields of healthcare, including reproductive health and cancer prevention. Genetic screening is a method of identifying genetic disorders through the study of an individual’s DNA. They can be used to determine predisposition for various disorders such as Alzheimer’s, breast cancer, and sickle cell anemia. Genetic screenings inform individuals about their state of health and can help them make efficient choices in regard to disease treatments and prevention; however they have not gone without controversy. Many feel that such screenings can cause stigma and discrimination against individuals who have unfavorable genetic characteristics. Despite such social setbacks, mandatory screenings with anonymous data released to the public can help benefit both individuals and public health.
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.
Genetic testing, also known as screening, is a rapidly advancing new scientific field that can potentially revolutionize not only the world of medicine, but many aspects of our lives. Genetic screening is the sequencing of human DNA in order to discover genetic differences, anomalies, or mutations that may prove pathological. As genetic screening becomes more advanced and easily accessible, it presents society with difficult questions that must be asked about the boundaries of science and to what degree we are allowed to tamper with the human genome. To better understand the potential impact of genetic screening on our society, we must examine the potential benefits in comparison to the possible negative impact it may cause. With this knowledge in hand, we can examine what the future holds for this field of study and the best possible direction to take.
In recent years, genetic testing has become a popular topic in the media. Usually involving cheek swabs, blood samples, or amniotic fluid samples, the procedure is relatively simple and can help diagnose genetic disorders, determine ideal medication types, or simply determine the patient’s heritage. It has saved many lives from cancer and other afflictions, but to say that genetic testing is always the correct choice is false. There are many issues with the tests, considering that they are new to the medical world. Genetic testing is mostly harmful because of privacy concerns, how underdeveloped it is, and the risk of it pushing a mother to abort her child.
The technologies available to aid in diagnosing genetic diseases and disorders have developed extraordinarily over the years. As a result, one topic up for discussion is how the technology should be used in the realm of diagnosing children before birth, mainly, using it to selectively screen embryos for genetic diseases. Leon Kass is one author who opposes genetic testing. He provides two main reasons why he feels it is morally wrong to use genetic screening on unborn children.
The Genetic Screening Debate
Within the past thirty years, researchers have found strong evidence linking genes and disease. The development of predictive genetic tests followed shortly after the isolation of certain candidate genes. Although predictive genetic screening is only available for a handful of diseases, its effects and ramifications have become hotly debated issues in a wide range of areas, from government to religion. The debate began in the 1993 when researchers isolated the BRCA1 gene, which is associated with increased risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.
Healthcare in America is in a crisis. By 1996, more than 43 million Americans were uninsured. By 2010, the number is expected to rise to 57 million. These figures are already shocking, but they are even more so considering that the healthcare costs of the US total $1.2 trillion or 15% of the gross national product (GNP) – the highest in the world.
Genetic testing involves examining an individual’s DNA and identifying abnormalities within the chemical makeup of specific structures. It, essentially, maps the person’s genome and can be interpreted to predict future issues. By analyzing the chromosome, genes, and even certain proteins, physicians and researchers can find changes that lead to inheritable disorders. These changes can lead to possible diagnosis or cure for the disorder in question. In most cases, genetic testing is used to determine the probability that an individual will develop a certain disorder. It is not used to specifically diagnose a disorder, as there are no techniques that are 100% accurate. Genetic testing techniques do give good evidence to confirm a physician’s findings, but it is not the first act a physician takes to diagnose a disorder. It can narrow a search or rule out a specific disorder very confidently, but making a diagnosis based solely on genetic testing is not an action that a qualified medical professional would consider.
The Pros of Prenatal Genetic Testing
Many medical advances are being made today in the area of genetics. One of the most talked about is prenatal genetic testing. The purpose of prenatal genetic testing is to obtain information on a baby's health before they are born. This new technology will definitely improve the quality of human life. Diseases will be diminished and through new advances some diseases might even be eliminated.
Cracking Your Genetic Code: A Review of Genetic Testing
In Gattaca, the plot focuses on the ethics, the risks, and the emotional impact of genetic testing in the nearby future. The film was released in the 90s; yet in the present, the film does not give the impression of science fiction. Today, genetic testing is prevalent in many aspects of the scientific community. This paper will describe genetic testing, its purpose, diagnostic techniques that use genetic testing, relating Huntington’s disease to genetic testing, and the pros and cons of genetic testing.
Description of genetic testing
By using identified gene mutations that are known to cause diseases, asymptomatic individuals are able to discover if they are at risk for specific genetic conditions; this is known as genetic testing.