Genetic Testing Vs. Individual Privacy Term Paper

Length: 2 pages Subject: Genetics Type: Term Paper Paper: #802465 Related Topics: Genetics, Workplace Privacy, Genetic Disease, Privacy
Excerpt from Term Paper :


Nathan's mother died of Huntington's Disease, a genetic condition to which he may or may not have been predisposed. He opted not to take a genetic test, even when asked to do so by his employer. It was Nathan's right to opt out of the test, but Nathan claims discrimination and can make a case based on HR493, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. Likewise, the Council for Responsible Genetics is an organization protecting the rights of individuals from having the results of their genetic tests made public. The flip side of the issue is the financial burden felt by insurance companies and the private sector. Insurance companies and the private sector need to know the person's genetic profile in order to make the most profitable decisions for them. Therefore, the ethical issues raised in this case have to do with the rights of corporations vs. The rights of individuals; the ethical imperative to profit vs. The ethical imperative to live in a just society; the ethics of privacy and


access to information; and the right to be free from discrimination.

1. What right is more akin with the Constitutional values of the United States: the right to profit or the rights individuals to be free from discrimination? The rights of individuals to be free from discrimination has more historic precedent in Supreme Court rulings, although there are some cases in which corporations have been given overarching power.

2. The insurance companies and the private sector express concerns related to such things as absenteeism and issues that might require the access to genetic data. If a person has a disease that will lead to performance drops in the workplace, should that person feel entitled to the job, or should that person accept the reality of their genetic history?

3. What is more important: accessing information freely or protecting the privacy of individuals? Accessing information freely is not a universal right, just like privacy is not a universal right. When these two rights conflict, they can create serious ethical conundrums.

Part Two

1. Patenting a gene seems patently wrong. There is no legal precedent for banning such a patent, which is why it is even more important to explain why such an act is ethically spurious. Any patent on biological matter is ethically wrong, because the company did not invent or create the gene. The gene existed before they did, and their company is only trying to capitalize on the potential for that gene to…

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