The Dark Side of Genetic Testing

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Category: Science and Technology

Date Submitted: 09/24/2014 06:28 PM

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Imagine being given the opportunity to see into the future, an unsure future that predicts what may or may not end up being your demise. Well it’s actually possible through genetic testing. Genetic testing is a test done in order to see what diseases a person may – or may not – contract presently, or some time in their lifetime by examining the blueprints of their life, also known as DNA. Although this does in fact sound like a break-through in the scientific world, it’s quite debatable as to whom and when should these tests be administrated. Take this scenario for example; imagine being a healthy individual, with a long line of healthy family members, along with no family history of diseases, but suddenly the doctor – who was genetically testing you – states that you have the gene for Huntington’s disease. Give or take being mentally prepared, this would come across as a shocking, possibly life changing moment for most people, and it’s quite possible. Although it wasn’t Huntington’s, a similar scenario did happen to David Ewing Duncan – an award-winning, best-selling author – as depicted in his article, “DNA as Destiny.” These genetic tests are not to be taken lightly; the information given to each patient from these tests – despite them not being full-proof accurate yet – can leave an astounding impact on any individuals’ life. Despite there being arguments that genetic testing for life-threatening diseases should be by choice of the patient themselves, they shouldn’t unless fulfilling certain criteria as they can have significant negative impacts on an individual’s life.

There are some people – such as those who feel they are steel-hearted and ready for anything – who would claim that the choice to be genetically tested in order to see if they are predisposed to life-threatening, incurable diseases should be by the patient themselves. Then there are those who may claim that it’s unlawful – once again, such as those who feel they are steel-hearted and ready for...