The Ethical Implications of Genetic Screening and Testing: Arguments For and Against

The Ethical Implications of Genetic Screening and Testing: Arguments For and Against

Length: 1911 words (5.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

Given advancements in technology and medicine, genetic screening and testing is becoming more commonplace in our society. The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) defines genetic screening as “a search in a population for persons possessing certain genotypes that (1) are already associated with disease or predispose to disease, (2) may lead to disease in their descendants, or (3) produce other variations not known to be associated with disease” (NHGRI, 2005). The term genetic testing is similar, but differs in that it only targets those individuals believed to be at high risk for a genetic disease. For example, testing an asymptomatic person in a family with relatives affected with the condition would constitute genetic testing (NHGRI, 2005). For the purpose of this paper, the two terms will be used interchangeably. Given the growing number of genetic tests available for identifying genetic diseases, it is important to examine the ethical implications of genetic screening as well as the arguments for and against this practice.
While many argue that genetic discovery is a beneficial practice, there are still a significant number of individuals who are against genetic testing. Grosse et al. (2009) argues that decision-making regarding genetic screening should explicitly take into account the principles of ethics and opportunity costs. The authors discuss opportunity costs in terms of what would happen if funding for other health services are displaced due to expensive genetic screening. They argue that screening programs may bring about diagnostic tests and treatments that aren’t necessarily benign but are very costly. Still, policy-makers and clinicians often neglect to consider cost-effectiveness in health care priorit...

... middle of paper ...

... & Khoury, M.J. (2009). Population screening for genetic disorders in the 21st century: Evidence, economics, and ethics. Public Health Genomics, 1-10.

Heshka, J.T., Palleschi, C., Howley, H., Wilson, B., & Wells, P. (2008). A systematic review of perceived risks, psychological and behavioral impacts of genetic testing. Genetics In Medicine, 10, 19-32.

National Human Genome Research Institute. (2005). Genetic Testing Report-Chapter 1. Retrieved April 18, 2014, from

Ross, L.F., Saal, H.M., David, K.L., & Anderson, R.R. (2013). Technical report: ethical and policy issues in genetic testing and screening of children. Genetics in Medicine, 15, 234-245.

Savulescu, J. (2007). Genetic interventions and the ethics of the enhancement of human beings. In B. Steinbock (Ed.), Oxford Handbook of Bioethics (pp. 417-427). Oxford University Press.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Genetic Testing and Reproductive Freedom Essay

- To many people today, the journey to personhood begins in the process of In Vitro Fertilization –IVF. The dramatic advances in this field has led to the ability for genetic alterations associated with diseases and other inherited characteristics. These two independent fields of genetic testing and IVF each present some issues that are technically, legally and ethnically complicated. Genetic testing allows for parents to choose which embryos to implant in a woman based on the genetic tests results....   [tags: Genetic Engineering]

Term Papers
986 words (2.8 pages)

Genetic Engineering And Its Effects On Society Essay

- Working Thesis- Although Genetic Engineering can benefit to those in the lower class the Government needs to limit the potential inequalities that it will create in the future. Background Topic Sentence- For those of you who don’t know what genetic engineering is and how it works here is some background information. Topic Sentence- Genetic engineering is benefiting everyone by removing the ability for known carriers of genetic diseases to let their children inheriting their genetic disease. Example- In From Chance to Choice: Genetics and Justice, Allen Buchanan and et al....   [tags: Genetic disorder, Genetics, Mutation]

Term Papers
1295 words (3.7 pages)

Genetic Counselling Essay

- Genetic counselling is a complex process and does not seem to have a single definition. From a purely biological standpoint, genetic counselling is, “diagnosing and classifying a genetic disease; to identify unaffected carriers of a defective gene in order to counsel them about the risk of having affected children; to detect a serious genetic disease before the clinical onset of symptoms in order to improve the quality of life…” On the surface, the job of a genetic counsellor is practical, helpful, and seems to be serving a purpose to parents, or potential parents....   [tags: Use of Genetic Information]

Term Papers
879 words (2.5 pages)

Genetic Testing And The Healthcare Industry Essay example

- The healthcare industry has come a long way in terms of technological advances. These advances have had significant benefits in diagnosis, treatment, and the way medicine is practiced today. Unfortunately, these technological advances also come with ethical issues and dilemmas the healthcare professionals must face. Genetic testing is an area that has had significant advancement over the past few years. Genetic testing can provide important information regarding diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of illness or disease (Mayo Clinic, 2015)....   [tags: Health care, Health care provider, Medicine]

Term Papers
1093 words (3.1 pages)

Essay about Genetic Testing or Genetic Screening

- 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....   [tags: prenatal genetic screening, diagnosis]

Term Papers
1504 words (4.3 pages)

Forbidden Knowledge: Ethical Considerations in Genetic Research Essays

- Researchers or Nurses who are involved in research studies can encounter numerous ethical issues when the research comprises human beings and animals in any discipline. Code of ethics was endorsed by the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research. “The commission, established by the National Research Act (Public Law 93-348), issued a report in 1978 that is referred to as the Belmont Report, which provided a model of guidelines adopted by the disciplinary organizations of the United States” (Polit & Beck, 2008, p....   [tags: Genetics, Ethics]

Term Papers
1350 words (3.9 pages)

Genetic Testing and Screening Essay

- There are numerous genetic disorders present in today's society that produce handicaps and threaten longevity. Genetic determinants are at the root of many cases of infertility, miscarriage, stillbirths, neonatal deaths, multiple malformations, retardation in growth and development, mental illness, and mental retardation. Estimates of the problem's magnitude have been made from data provided by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, which suggest that genetic factors are involved in one fifth of infant deaths, one fourth of the institutionalized mental retardates, almost one half of individuals with IQs less than fifty, and half of first trimester abortions (Finley 1982)....   [tags: Genetic Screening Essays]

Term Papers
3139 words (9 pages)

Genetic Testing and Screening Essay

- Many things are changing at an extremely rapid rate in our society. The new advances in the areas of science and biotechnology are raising many ethical and moral dilemmas for everyone. No one will be left unaffected. Everyone will have to make a decision and take a stand on these issues. I will discuss advancements of genetic screening and testing. The first step to any ethical problem is to understand the topic. It is difficult to formulate accurate ideas without knowledge about the topic, so first I will provide a little background information on genetic screening....   [tags: Genetic Screening Essays]

Term Papers
1882 words (5.4 pages)

Genetic Testing and Screening Essay

- Current research from the human genome project has identified numerous genes that are responsible for genetic disorders impacting society. This knowledge provides us with opportunities to test children and adults to predetermine genetic disorders/diseases and make educated decisions about options available. The U.S. Congress' Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) defines genetic testing as "the use of specific assays to determine the genetic status of individuals already suspected to be at high risk for a particular inherited condition." In contrast, genetic screening is defined as the systematic search of populations for persons with latent, early, or asymptomatic disease and is distinguis...   [tags: Genetic Screening Essays]

Free Essays
1565 words (4.5 pages)

Genetic Testing and Screening Essay

- Genetic screening is the testing of variations in gene sequences in protein or DNA. Protein screening is easier, but DNA screening is more powerful. It is a 'physical screening for a protein or genetic abnormality that may allow detection of a disorder before there are physical signs of it, or even before a gene is expressed if it acts later in life.' (web). This is a technique that is used on nonhuman species such as plants and some animals and is not questioned. The real question is if we should use it on humans....   [tags: Genetic Screening Essays]

Term Papers
1432 words (4.1 pages)