The article informs about the Human Genome Project which aims at generating new technologies related to the human DNA and the future of medicine in the twenty-first century. This theory, according to the health officials, will shape the American healthcare system. The article reflects the advantages and disadvantages faced by the study in terms of advancing the genetic knowledge and the technological knowhow (Rabino, 2003). The writer of the article relates technological knowhow and genetic knowledge to ethical issues as well as political and psychosocial problems that might arise in the process of interpreting proper decisions. The HGP project has generated numerous conferences as well as analytical studies, related to bioethics in a bid to develop guidelines and address arising technical problems, for example, quality DNA testing and promotion of professional education (Rabino, 2003). With the rapid and emerging genetics insurgency, most people fear the risks involved are great. The society may not be in a position to address such issues over time and in the right manner. In so doing, the report relates science to ethics by conducting a survey of scientists who engage in the research of human genetics (Rabino, 2003). The study aims at coming up with a decisive observation related to the views of the scientists regarding the risks and benefits of having scientific advancements. These achievements include the ethical and moral repercussions the genetic future will have. The purpose of the article was to deal with the various ethical difficulties brought about by genetic testing and analysis, the steps undertaken in finding a conclusive solution and who has the right to genetic information.
The survey method used included questionnaires which were sent to the American Society of Human Genetics. The response, observed by the scientists, was not pleasant because most of them returned the questionnaires without filling them. They were not engaged in the Human Genetics study while the other group of scientists returned the questionnaire under anonymous circumstances. Out of the total 3632 questionnaires sent, only 1236 were returned; and about two thirds the total numbers of respondents who took part in the survey gave insightful thoughts about the project (Rabino, 2003). New genetic testing opportunities have become available within a short period ever since the initiation of the genetic diagnostics program. This is the case even though there are uncommon effective treatment methods for genetic predisposition (Rabino, 2003). Now more than ever, there will be more choices that ought to be made. They will provoke the ethical questions of people because of the recent expansion in terms of intellectual understanding of the structure and purpose of a person’s genetic material (Rabino, 2003). However, genetic testing is high in cases of voluntary choices, and the ethical questions governing a person’s decisions will not be provoked or even questioned. About 83 percent of genetic research scientists object to unavoidable testing, for example, the premarital tests for a genetic disorder, especially, if one partner has a venereal sickness (Rabino, 2003). The other mandatory testing researchers object to be the statutory right for a spouse to share their genetic information before marriage. Such information is best suited for the couple to share and at their own convenient time.
Scientists believe that non professionals cannot be able to deal with genetic results, and testing as well as making genetically informed decisions on their own as much as they uphold the patient self-rule policy (Rabino, 2003). Here, scientists believe that a professional ought to be included to interpret and guide the patient when making choices. About 81 percent of the scientists believe that genetic diagnostic kits should not be made available to the public because such decisions require professional counseling. Health professionals claim that a person ought to hear the pros and cons associated with the results of a human genetic testing project (Rabino, 2003). On the other hand, an agreement reached by several respondents showed that it is fit for a psychologically and mentally prepared person to be self-administered with the genetic testing kit, but it should be used in a medical and genetic counseling setting (Rabino, 2003).
When it comes to abortion and genetic predisposition, about from 70 percent to about 83 percent of the respondents interviewed from 1972 to 1998 claim that is was possible for a female to get legal abortion in case the chances of fetal under development brought about by poor genetic makeup. When human genetic scientists were asked to prove the chances of conducting successful utero tests to determine legal abortion, the scientists have varying stands on the subject. This is with respect to the time line of the negative effects and the cruelty of the outcome. Those who support abortion base their argument on the situations defined by the disease more so if the onslaught is done at an early life stage. To them, abortion is legally okay if the offspring does not reach the age of four years and suffers from genetically predisposed diseases (Rabino, 2003). Those opposed to abortion say that pregnancy termination is unethical if the following should be considered, and if the child is not what the parents wanted, suffer from depression, be overweight throughout their life period, or even a mild mental illness (Rabino, 2003).
Summarily, genetic testing raises crucial issues in the society as well as professionals related to that field of study. To some, genetic testing should not be there because it challenges the legal and social morals encompassing the society to others; it should be there because it helps eradicate the socially unaccepted norms in a particular society. The article relates the scientists and the society, and the role each plays in trying to identify and define their various perceptions and one thing is for sure, an individual ought to know their genetic makeup but also recognize the risks associated with such knowledge.
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