Genetic Testing and Screening Essay

Genetic Testing and Screening Essay

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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. I will then point out some of the areas of controversy associated with genetic screening, and finally I will discuss my view on the topic.

Genetic screening can be used to refer to any activity that locates or advises people about genetically connected diseases. The first large-scale genetic screening project began in the 1960's with the Guthrie test which tests infants for PKU (phenylketonuria) (Munson, 1996). Currently with the advances being made by the Human Genome project we are achieving a much more detailed understanding of the relationship between specific genes and diseases. Approximately nine hundred gene or gene markers have been linked to diseases (Munson, 1996). With all of the new information about our genes, the ability to develop tests to screen for these genes is becoming possible for a much larger number of diseases. Some of the current DNA tests available diagnose Adult polycystic kidney disease, Alpha-1-Antitrypsin deficiency, familial adenomatous polyposis, hemophilia, Huntington's disease, myotonic dystrophy, and familial breast cancer susceptibility (Munson, 1996). Many more tests are well on the way to being developed. With the possibility o...


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...e water. We must carefully look at the benefits and at the problems that may also result. Many times it seems we don't worry about the consequences until it is too late. I believe genetic screening will be a great benefit in our future if it used only for the right reasons, but will we be able to control the new information?


Works Cited
Blumberg, Lisa. "The Bad Baby Blues." Obtained from the www: http://ragged-edge-mag.com/0798/a798ft1.htm

Coutts, Mary Cottington, and Pat Milmoe McCarrick. "Eugenics." Obtained from the www: http://guweb.georgetown.edu/nrcbl/scopenotes/sn28.htm

Fletcher, John C., and Dorothy C. Wertz. "The Price of Silence."

Goode, Stephen. "Marines Stand Ground Against DNA Testing." Insight. P. 38. February 19, 1996.

Munson, Ronald. Intervention and Reflection-Basic Issues in Medical Ethics. 5th Ed., Wadsworth Publishing Co., 1996.

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