Imagine yourself as a 26-year-old pregnant female. You have just been genetically screened and you found out that you carry a gene for breast cancer. This gene almost always causes breast cancer in early adult hood. Your daughter-to-be has just inherited this gene. You have the following options; a) Abort the fetus and discontinue a disease that won't show signs for decades? b) Carry out the pregnancy and pray that your daughter is lucky and won't develop the breast cancer until maybe a cure for the disease has been found? This is a very tough situation to be in. This is just one situation of many that deal with a new era of a new concept called genetic screening or testing. Genetic screening is the testing of cells to check for certain kinds of genes, or for potentially damaging changes to those genes. It may be defined as a systematic search for persons with a particular genotype. The National Academy of Sciences recommends that genetics screening is an appropriate form of medical care only when certain conditions are met. These conditions include: (1) Evidence of substantial public benefit and acceptance; (2) The benefits outweigh the costs; (3) Appropriate public education can be carried out; (4) Informed consent is feasible; (5) The means are available to evaluate the effectiveness and success of each step in the process (Blank, 1982).
Genetic screening can be and is a difficult procedure, and the results depend both on reliable laboratory procedures and accurate interpretations of results. The interpretation of the test results is often difficult, even for the most experienced physicians and other healthcare specialists. When a person is investigating the results of any genetic test, one must take i...
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2) Fackelmann, Kathy A. 1994. Beyond the Genome. Science News. Nov 5, pg. 298-299.
3) Genetics Class 431, 1998.
4) Newborn Screening to Prevent Mental Meturdation: obtained from the WWW 11/2/98: http://www.TheArc.org/faqs/nwbrnqa.html
5) Read My Genes: Genetic Screening in the Work Place: obtained from the WWW 11/2/98: http://www.scu.edu/Ethics/publications/iie/v4n2/genes.shtml
6) Rothenberg, Karen. 1997. Genetic Information and the Workplace: Legislative Approaches and Policy Challenges. Science. March 21, pg. 1755-1757.
7) The Gene Letter Volume 1, Issue 2, Sept 1996: An over view of Genetic Screenings and Diagnostic Tests in Healthcare: obtained form the WWW 11/2/98: http://www.geneletter.org/0996/screening.htm
8) What is Genetic Testing: obtained from the WWW 11/2/98 11/2/98: http://www.lbl.gov/Education/ELSI/genetic-testing.html
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