For the many years there has been a loud outcry from the employees associations and individual employees concerning the requirement of medical examinations and history of family health by around two-thirds of the Americas huge companies for new hires. This created fears among the populace with many fearing to undertake tests freely for diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer, cancer, and heart disease. They purport that incase the results are positive they may lose their jobs or insurance. The increase in availability of genetic information will greatly help researchers come up with therapy that can diagnose hereditary linked diseases early enough. The doctors will also through the presence of genetic information identify the disease at early stage and deal with it, hence saving life and the cost incurred will also be reduced. The regulations concerning the information on genetics should be put in place to ensure that the information is fully utilized and the individuals rights fully protected. The responsibilities of the individual and society are of great help in setting up a society that will in the future embrace the need to take genetic tests and understand their family backgrounds (Jones, 2005). The governing institutions should also ensure that the required resources for research are available so that the cost of treating genetically related illness is reduced. With the increasing rate of existence of such illness, the populace is encouraged to undergo personal checks.
Access to genetic information
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Genetic information comprises of those things like genes, inheritable characteristics, genes products that stem from a family attachment or about an individual.
Personal genetic information sounds as an individual property that should be handled as private and confidential, but the access of genes information can be accessed by different individuals which include employers, insurers, schools, courts, military, and the adoption agencies and bureaus that deal with medical information. These different personalities require the information for different reasons. However, some of them may access it prior authorization from the individual while insurers, employers and medical bureaus can access the information without the individual consent.
The employers may require the information concerning genes so as to ascertain the job conditions for the employees and to establish compatibility of the employee to any transfer or job rotation. On the other hand the employers may require the information for discrimination purposes incase of hiring. They will tend to avoid those workers who can take sick leave more often, retire or resign at an early age due to health reasons, those that may have cost effects on the business like using of healthcare benefits in excess or filing for workers' compensation. For the insurers, the genetic information may be required so that they can properly calculate the amount of premium payable and whether the insured qualifies for the cover and in other instances assist in identifying the actual beneficiaries incase a claim arise (Tavani, 2006). The courts will require the genetic information of individual if a case concerning identity is brought before it, for instance, the DNA tests are normally requested to be carried out by the court whenever there is a dispute concerning identity. In schools, students from different areas come together and the environment created thereafter may not be conducive for all the students. This depends on their genetic makeup. Therefore may require the students' genetic information so that they can justify the condition of the students and hence provision of the required conditions.
Effects of genetic information
Genetic information may benefit an individual both positively and negatively. Positively, the individual will be aware of his or her heath conditions at an early stage hence benefit from the available therapy. The knowledge about the health status of an individual will relieve any fears. This means that the individual will live a positive life. The genetic tests will also give an individual to lead a well planned life incase of the identification of a terminal disease. This will be of great help to his or her family for the future. The individual though living positively will have proper time to plan for a successful future for the family. The information will give the individual relentless nights of trying to come up with a concrete family background to help the coming generations. The information may include hereditary diseases so of which may be requiring early assistance; hence the generation to come will take the necessary checks to curb the diseases (Setaro, 2001). Again the information will affects any present or future decisions to be made by the individual. The decisions may b family based or employment based. In most cases the individual may decide to take an insurance cover against the same to prepare for the unknown. The psychological makeup of the individual will be well prepared so that when the disease strikes the individual will be well prepared to face it. This makeup may be used by the individual to educate others about the benefits of taking genetic tests. This in totality transforms the kind of life an individual leads.
On the other hand, the knowledge of the genetic information by an individual will lead to the loss of self identity. The individual may lack confidence in his or her entire life. It will translate to one leading a miserable life in entirely. Some may even find hard to continue living, for instance if the disease is terminal because they are sure that their existence has a benchmark. This chances totally the perception of life by an individual. In addition, an individual may face some aspect of isolation due to his or her situation. The highest degree of isolation may be witnessed in the workplace where the employer may use it against the individual in terms of award of benefits or promotions. Other individuals may face marital problems like divorce. One of the spouses may decide to quit the marriage due to the other spouse conditions. This will greatly affects an individual social life and the sense of social belonging. For those individuals who are not married they may decide not to be part of any relationship due to fear of a break up when the other partner discovers about his or her conditions. In terms of resources the information may lead to the use o f a lot of finances to seek medication. This means that the individual budget will be strained and in other instances consumes all the available money. Therefore the combination of both the disease and financial lack may increase the misery being faced by an individual (Takala, 2001).
The presence of genetic information probably the negative tests will not receive a nice welcome or perception from the members o f the society. The knowledge of your genetic findings by the society will create different public take. Other will view the idea as wise whereas others may look at you as an outcast. The highest percentage of the society members fear to have their genetics tested. With the presence of new technologies and therapy and changes in regulations on discrimination based on genetic findings a high number of individuals will emulate the step (Nnadozie, 2003). The minds and thoughts of the society members will be shaped by how an individual carry own with life after the tests. When an individual put on with life more comfortably the other members will embrace the move. Nevertheless, in the developing nations the issue is more than personal but communal. The individual with positive results is considered an outcast and a curse to the community as a whole. Individuals face a lot of discrimination from the village members and his or her association will be a problem.
Effects of genetic information on minority communities
The information on genetics will affect the minority groups differently. This will be due to the issues of stigmatization that arise due the knowledge of the information on genetics. Most of the members of the group face issues of race discrimination and isolation. The other major issue is that most of the members of the minority group are less informed about the significance of genetic tests. The communities will find it difficult to embrace the issue of having their genetic information. Their chances may limit their chances of being employed and their lineage attracting high level of discrimination if they are identified with a particular hereditary disease. In serious cases the information may lead to total isolation even economically. The resources of the community may be exhausted on treatment of the diseases.
Ways in which the society can deal with genetic information
With both the personal and communal affects that result from accessibility of genetic information. The information should be handled as private and confidential. The society should embrace the conditions of an individual and look for a way to help the community members deal with or go for genetic tests. The tests should be treated as a necessity for every community member. This is to establish a good history for every family within the society. The history will help the coming generations to deal with issues of genetically linked diseases. The information will also be used as an empowering tool to the society (Sateesh, 2008). This will be so through the use of the information to enlighten and educate the public about all the issues surrounding genetic related diseases. The society should not ignore any information concerning genetics of their members and every information and developments in technological advances that are available to deal with the early treatment of the disease.
Law dealing with genetic information
The governing authorities should make sure that laws are put in place so as to protect the access and production of genetic information as a requirement for any new hire. The major issue that the regulations will deal with is the discriminations that arise from employers and the insurance companies. The presence of the laws will help curb the employers from employing workers based on the genetic information. This will ensure just, equitable and fair employment search for all. It will also deal fully with the issue of discrimination against workers by the employers with them stating on the cost consequences. It will also solve the issue of economic incentive on discrimination in relation to genetic findings. This is because there will be an increase in research concerning genes and the decrease in the cost incurred in the process of genetic testing. The regulations will limit workplace discrimination some of which may be based on circumstances that are untrue (Janssen, 2005).
The legislations will ensure that the latest advances in technologies are used to deal fully with the genetic cases. This will boost the solving of the healthcare needs of a country. The laws can also be useful in restricting the access of information concerning personal genetic information.
Individual's responsibilities to society
Any individual with the knowledge about his or her genetic information should take bold steps to try to inform and educate or sensitize the society about the importance of carrying out genetic tests. His or her knowledge about the information should be a source of empowering tool to the society. The individual should encourage the populace to carry voluntary genetic tests so that they can establish their health status. In addition he should organize for conferences to look into the future of a society with sufficient knowledge on genetically linked diseases. The come together will create a better psychological on individuals who are preparing to undergo the check freely. The individual will help alleviate the fears that rest in the individuals minds concerning the stigma that accompanies ones knowledge about his or her health conditions. The positive experience s that has resulted due to the individuals' acquisition of the genetic findings should be used as an encouragement for others who have feared to carry the tests. The individual should also share the governing regulations governing the same.
The society has a major responsibility of ensuring that the information available concerning genetics are fully utilized and appreciated. The society should help the individuals with genetic information and integrate them as resourceful and useful people in the society. The community should offer financial support to victims of genetic information. The leaders of the society should take the lead in ensuring that people in their societies live harmoniously and relate well with others (Andorno, 2007). This will promote the spirit of togetherness and alleviate fears among future casualties of the information. The society should also be in forefront in spearheading the search or research on the search of therapy required to treat hereditary diseases. Most of these diseases require herbal medicines that are well known by the traditional herbalists. Again the society have a sufficient knowledge concerning the family history, therefore they will be a source of complete history about an individual. The therefore should have a clear responsibility of providing all the necessary information to the individual.
Information on genetics should be a personal property and all shareholders such as doctors, insurers, plan organizers, doctors, courts, bureaus, agencies among others should ensure that the information are handled with diligence. The individuals and societies should ensure that they carry out their required responsibilities. Sensitization of the public should be made a priority by all the share holders. The public should be encouraged to take genetic tests and thought of the existing benefits and regulations.