Genetic Testing Controversies

Genetic Testing Controversies 1-12-11 Biology Genetic Testing, also known as DNA-based tests, is a new method of testing for genetic diseases or disorders. In the test the DNA molecule is examined and other tests include microscopic examination of chromosomes, for stained or fluorescent chromosomes. Genetic tests are used for carrier screening, newborn screening, identity testing, prenatal diagnostic testing, and prediction of disorders later in life such as Huntington’s or Alzheimer’s disease etc. Human Genome Project) Controversies today that genetic testing today faces is with the privacy, consents, equity and discrimination. The privacy of the information that is found may not be confidential between the patient and the doctor it may also be revealed to other people that are not involved in the issue. The controversies with consent are that should the insurance companies be allowed to have the information of medical records and family histories before granting permission to anything. (Friesen, Tim.
The Genetic Testing Controversy). The costs of some of these genetic tests are very expensive, some costing more than $1000. Another controversy is related with discrimination to the people shown by insurance companies, where they are discriminating on the people by the information which is received to them by genetic tests. Another example is where a woman who had applied to become an adoptive parent was denied due to a family history of Huntington’s disease which also made her susceptible to the disease. Friesen, Tim. The Genetic Testing Controversy) An advantage of Genetic testing is that it gives information about any disease or disorders a person may have and treat that person immediately for a cure. Another advantage is that these tests help to live a risk free life from the beginning, for example- Genetic testing are done on new born babies, which helps to identify any disorders from the beginning so treatment can be given immediately. Benefits of genetic testing) Another advantage of genetic testing is that there are fewer checkups and visits to the doctor if there is a history of a disease in a family. Another advantage is that if a person is genetically tested and the results are positive, they get to make “informed decisions” in their life. (Benefits of Gene Testing. National Cancer Institute) A disadvantage of genetic testing is that if a person is positive for a disease which cannot be cured completely, is still in a risk.
Related essay: “Advantages and Disadvantages of Genetic Engineering”

For example breast and ovarian cancers, you cannot get rid of each and every breast or ovary related cells. Even after the surgery, the risk is still there. Another disadvantage is many people after receiving their test results and testing positive for a disease, leads to depression, anxiety or anger for most people, mostly women in these cases. Another disadvantage of genetic testing is many people face discrimination in getting insurance, or employment due to the results of that person’s genetic test. Citation Pictures http://www. beltina. org/pics/genetic_testing. jpg

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