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Genome

In: Science

Submitted By davecloud
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Pages 7
Reaction Paper to Beyond the Genome

Science and Society - Fall 2007
Presented by Dave Cloud

Summary of Beyond the Genome The articles “Beyond the Genome”, and “DNA Dilemmas” explores the positive and negative characteristics of genetic research in the 1990’s and beyond. The authors use ethical principles, case studies, and opinion poles from various age groups to assemble public reaction to what is emerging as a very complex issue in our society today. They ponder the questions of intervention vs. non-intervention in specific case studies about paternalism, dwarfism, privacy, and flawed gene heredity relating to retardation. In two of the cases, aborting the unborn fetus is at issue if the genetic test results do not favor the parents wishes for the child. This raises health, ethical, and legal arguments which are traditionally at cross-purposes. The issues even hearken back to Roe v. Wade whereby the reason to abort is indisputable. On the other hand, terminating an otherwise healthy fetus can be viewed as selective childbirth, not unlike “the abortion of female fetuses in China”. Having knowledge of what is to come, even in the future of the child’s life is making the difference. More parents are being told genetically determined information about their unborn and existing children, which prior to the advances in the last five years they had no access to. The case relating to paternity is purely a moral one. It focuses on the question of whether incidental information which is generated by genetic testing, outside of what has been requested, should be divulged or not. This also raises the issue about the nature of the genetic information, and whether it should influence the decision to disclose incidental test results. The final case deals with the future of the health of one’s offspring. That is, if the father or mother are determined to have a…...

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