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Genetic Code: Privacy, Health and Discrimination - Essay Example

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The author of this essay gives a profound comparative analysis of the different approaches to genetic technologies. The author describes such controversial themes as health care as a privilege, defining individuals through their genetic code and the ethical nature of genetic practices…
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Genetic Code: Privacy, Health and Discrimination
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Download file to see previous pages The disease is shown to be inheritable in 10% of all cases, and it is possible that it occurs because of a mutation in the VABP gene (Pierce 2012). Further research may, and likely will, expand understanding of how individuals get this disease, providing for interpretations of the genetic code that can predict the potential of getting the illness. If this is the case, children of parents who test positive for this potential, for which there would likely be no prediction of an actual mutation of the VABP gene, would be classified for ALS. If this was the case, would the world have seen Stephen Hawking if genetic testing of parents was used to determine the potential of their child having ALS? The fact is that the costs of the medical care for Stephen Hawking are far overshadowed by the benefits his research and strands of thought have brought to understanding the universe. What is risked by classifying people by their genetic make-up is losing intellectual capacities that would have a far greater impact on the advancement of humanity. Diversity of health situations is one of the ways in which experience defines the existence of life. No one wants a debilitating disease, but this does not mean that life with one should be considered unworthy merely by the fact of the disease. When parents determine the potential for illness within their children through genetic classifications, they run the risk of believing that children with the potential for disease are not worthy of life through their procreative efforts. This is at cross purposes to what is best for society. The fear of discrimination in relationship to genetic testing is so potent that it has caused laws to be enacted to fight the potential for discriminatory...
One of the biggest problems within the United States is the idea that health care should be a privilege rather than a right. The right to education is acknowledged without prejudice to income, but the right to be healthy and capable of reaching one’s highest potential is considered a privilege through the insurance system. With advancements in establishing health frameworks through the analysis of the genetic code, insurance and the healthcare industry are furthering discrimination through proposals that will impact those with disadvantaged genetic code results. The concept of defining individuals through their genetic code has the potential for allowing the rise of a society that classifies people without allowing them the potential to prove themselves through merit. Through the excuses that will develop in codifying genetic potentials, access to healthcare will be even further restricted through high costs to those who need it most as an inequity comes from classifying people by the potentials for illness and conditions that may never manifest. Health care should be a right, not a privilege and it is this distinction that is causing this debate to have relevance. Health care should not be a matter of insurance, but rather a matter of public right so that inequity is not created in relationship to health care access. Creating divisions through any means in relationship to genetic testing is going to create an elite and a disadvantage set of classes through which more social inequity will occur. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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