• October 7th, 2017

The Future of Medical Advances and Genetic Discrimination

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With scientific breakthroughs come new, unanticipated dilemmas that force us to rethink how we view the world, our culture and each other. One good example comes from the genetic discoveries science has made in the past fifty years; we now live in an era when we can test tissue samples or blood and determine whether or not a person is at-risk for a variety of debilitating or deadly diseases. While this ability has clear benefits, it also has some potentially thorny side-effects. Do some background reading on genetic discrimination and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), starting here: http://www.genome.gov/10002328 and here: http://www.genome.gov/10002077, and then continuing with any other resources you find helpful. Genetic tests Reflect on your reading as you discuss the following questions during the week: Genetic tests are incredibly valuable tools. If you were in charge of the Department of Health and Human Services, how might you guarantee that genetic tests will be used to benefit people, not to harm them? Even though there have not yet been any genetic discrimination cases tried in U.S. courts, why is it important to establish a set of ethical standards now? What changes could be made to GINA in order to make it better?

 

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