Genetic Testing - Are the Benefits Worth the Risks? Essay

Genetic Testing - Are the Benefits Worth the Risks? Essay

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Genetic Testing - Are the Benefits Worth the Risks?

In 2001 The Human Genome Project was completed giving us the make up of the entire human genome. Science can now tell what color your eyes are, what gender you are, and what diseases you have just by extracting one strand of DNA. The question I propose to you now is; do you really want to know? Is it a good thing to know that you will get a disease that will eat away your mind, and cripple you till you wither away at the early age of 43 (Huntington Disease)? Genetic testing is the new wave of the future. Geneticists can now tell possible carriers of the gene for Huntington’s disease their true fate, not just give them odds. Now that we can tell people what genes they will or do have, do we allow people to selectively decide when and whatever they want to know? Do we test the unborn, and if so, then can the parents abort if they are unhappy with the results? How far do we let things go? Is genetic testing really a good ethical procedure? But what if it could also prevent and help cure disease? There are many issues involved with genetic testing. I will discuss the reasons the medical professions are for and against genetic testing also the concerns bioethicists have in that testing could be used for inappropriate reasons.

Interest in genetics has grown universally, and with good reason. For me it is very personal. As a biomedical engineering major at State University, I could one day be behind genetic developments and I will want to know the ethical concerns with it. As for other students, it is just as important they keep up to date with what is going on because they could very well be faced with the decision of whether or not to take a genetic test. It coul...

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Chapman, Audrey R... "Genetic Engineering and Theology: Exploring the Interconnections." Theology Today 59.1 (2002): 71-86. 2/24/04. http://rapid.library.../>.

Greengard, Samuel. "Genetic Testing." Workforce 76.7 (1997): 38-44. 3/22/03.>.

Hensrud, Donald D. "Genetic Effects." Fortune 145.11 (2002): 194-194. 2/21/03.>.

Johnson, Dan. "Ethics in the Genetic Age." Futurist 34.6 (2000): 13-14.

Parker, Michael, Anneke Lucassen. "Working towards ethical management of genetic testing.." Lancet 360.9346 (2002): 1685-1685.

Vastag, Brian. "Experts Wrestle with Social, Ethical Implications of Human Genome Research." JAMA 285.6 (2001): 721-722. 3/15/2003.>.

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