Essay: Ethical Implications of Genetic Testing

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Ethical Implications of Genetic Testing

Throughout the years, genetic testing has been extensively used in: treating medical disorders and identifying the risks brought on by a particular disease. Also known as DNA-based tests, it consists of techniques that are utilized in: determining genetic disorders and examining the DNA of a patient (Sequeiros & Guimaraes, 2008).

As a result, this kind of testing mostly involved carrier screenings. This is when it determines individuals who have certain genetic traits for: a disorder or disease that could be transmitted when paired with another gene. Moreover, it is used in: newborn screenings, prenatal diagnostic tests, forensic tests, and presymptomatic tests. The test involves the use: laboratory techniques that examine one's genes. This identifies the increased risks of health-related problems and the chances of transmitting disease-carrying genes to a person's offspring. Consequently, DNA-based tests are imperative in determining what kind of treatment should be used in assessing a particular case (Widdows, 2009).

Despite of the popularity and success rates of genetic testing, there were ethical issues that resulted from it. These problems are similar to those that occurred surrounding the use of personal medical information. Wherein, the concerns about: confidentiality of the patient and the discretion of the information are taken into consideration. Primarily, genetic testing needs informed consent and they have to be knowledgeable enough about the objectives as well as the possible outcomes. This is regardless of whether it is: a diagnosis, prognosis or simply an assessment. Furthermore, the patient should know: what every part of the test means and the probable choices that he can make once the results are identified.

However, the personal information involved in every genetic test is an important concern, and it is not just like any other medical information. This is because a patient's genetic information has a great amount of influence on every member of his family. As, it involves everything about: the family's health history, condition, probability of diseases / disorders and the chances of passing certain genes on to their offspring. This means that an assessment of the possible risks and advantages of genetic testing is very important part of every medical case. Where, the chances of physical / nonphysical hazards involved: in genetic testing and the dissemination of information is a private manner (Ziegler, Konig & Pahlke, 2010).

Aside from the ethical issues in genetic information, the advantages of DNA-based test are problematic. In most cases, when treatment is identified for a genetic disorder, its availability and utilization requires further tests. Moreover, there are also issues incorporated in prenatal and childhood genetic testing. As, children will depend on: their parents to determine whether or not a DNA-based test should be conducted. However, this seems to be unnecessary in most cases, for certain treatments are already available upon assessment of a child's medical condition. When the child reaches his adulthood, he has the full authority and capability to decide for himself about knowing his genetic history.

On the other hand, genetic testing needs a wider range of considerations when it comes to prenatal tests (Jones & Smith, 2005). As, parents are given the authority to: decide whether or not they want to use genetic information in the development of the fetus. In some cases, there are no possible medical treatments to diagnose the fetus' condition. This results in limited treatment options and difficult ethical considerations. Where, the parents must decide if they want to: continue with the pregnancy and bear the repercussions of the child's genetic case, or if they want to end the pregnancy.

Before finalizing their decision, it is required that both parents are well- informed about: the meaning and significance of the test results, along with the probable consequences of their decision. Everything about the test and the results should be explained to the parents, most importantly the chance that the detected disorder will eventually affect child. As a result, prenatal genetic screening determines: the risks of birth defects and the chances of the fetus' acquiring certain genetic disorders. Where, a DNA-based test, centers on the parent's decisions about all reproductive issues involved in the pregnancy.

Genetic testing is considered positive if there are: no particular treatments needed during pregnancy and if there are more medical treatment options. This gives the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Ethical Implications of Genetic Testing.  (2011, May 7).  Retrieved May 19, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/ethical-implications-genetic-testing/983983

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"Ethical Implications of Genetic Testing."  Essaytown.com.  May 7, 2011.  Accessed May 19, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/ethical-implications-genetic-testing/983983.