The Disadvantages Of Genetic Testing On Children Discussed In Dena Davis' Book Genetic Dilemmas

2328 words - 9 pages

In chapter four of her book Genetic Dilemmas, Dena Davis asserts that it is unethical for parents to subject their children to genetic testing for the markers of adult-onset genetic diseases because it places an unfair constraint on a child’s right to an open future. It both removes the child’s ability to choose whether to be tested as an adult and has the potential to negatively alter the overall trajectory of their lives. While the current consensus amongst medical professionals is that such testing should be prohibited (Davis, _____), many concerned parents correctly point out that discouraging such testing creates a conflict of interests between the “beneficence model of patient care and the rights of parents to their own autonomy” (Davis, 75). The availability of commercial online and mail-order genetic testing kits further exacerbates this dilemma by enabling these dissenting parents to obtain test results for their children. Davis ultimately makes a convincing argument that “parental requests for genetic information about their children, when they have no immediate relevance to medical intervention or disease prevention, should generally be resisted” (Davis, 87). This paper seeks to demonstrate that in the case of testing for incurable, late onset genetic diseases, protecting the rights and interests of the child should take precedence over parental autonomy, and that there is a marked need for tighter regulation of commercial genetic testing in order to protect these rights.
Davis bases her argument against testing children for untreatable, late onset genetic diseases (hereafter referred to as “testing”) on the fact that testing is a violation of a child’s right to an open future. Davis feels that while parents do have the liberty to exercise their own reproductive rights and the right to direct the care of their families, they are not entitled to sacrifice the “open futures” or future autonomy of their children in order to do so. (Davis ____).
Testing irreversibly robs children of the right to choose whether to get tested as adults, when they can better understand the implications of test results (Davis ____). Thus it constitutes a violation of a “right in trust,” (a right such as the right to reproduce or vote that the child cannot use yet, but must be protected so that the right may be exercised later) and removes the child’s ability to choose, as his or her parents did, to be tested later on in life for reproductive, marriage, or medical reasons.
She also asserts that testing is a violation of the child’s privacy since she can no longer choose whether to disclose her test results to her parents. Thus, healthcare providers should protect any child’s ability to choose which information she shares with her parents, particularly if that information (as is the case with late onset genetic diseases) only becomes relevant in adulthood and will affect her choices in marriage or reproduction (Davis _____).
There are...

Find Another Essay On The Disadvantages of Genetic Testing on Children Discussed in Dena Davis' Book Genetic Dilemmas

Genetic Testing in Humans Essay

1534 words - 6 pages many benefits, from helping families, individuals, and sparking new research. Genetic testing has many disadvantages and limitations that have sparked controversy and ethical issues causing debate worldwide. For example, test results may lead to genetic discrimination based on a person carrying certain mutations by others or employers and insurance companies. In the 1990s, there were a number of instances of genetic discrimination in the

Genetic Testing Essay

900 words - 4 pages status.Additional InformationIt is very important that genetic testing is always accompanied by pre- and post-test counseling so that individuals are able to make an informed choice about whether or not to undergo testing, and have access to extra support if needed. Below we have provided a few links to UK-based websites which can provide further information on the issues discussed in the Genetics and Cancer and Genetic Testing sections:Cancerbackup

Genetic Testing

2353 words - 9 pages a family and are concerned about the possibility of passing on a genetic trait to their offspring. This last type of screening can look at the parent's genotype or look at the genotype of the fetus or newborn. This type of screening can also look for a specific disorder or can be done as a general test for common disorders as in prenatal testing or more commonly newborn screening. Genetic tests use techniques to examine genes or markers near the

Genetic Testing

1493 words - 6 pages Genetic Testing The technologies available to aid in diagnosing genetic diseases and disorders have developed extraordinarily over the years. As a result, one topic up for discussion is how the technology should be used in the realm of diagnosing children before birth, mainly, using it to selectively screen embryos for genetic diseases. Leon Kass is one author who opposes genetic testing. He provides two main reasons why he feels it is morally

Genetic Testing and The Diagnosis of Genetic Diseases

1389 words - 6 pages Genetic testing is used to determine the risk of a patient or patient’s offspring developing genetic diseases. This is done with DNA sequencing in adults and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PDG) on embryos. These methods of genetic testing are effective means of determining the likelihood of developing diseases such as Huntington’s disease, a disease resulting from trinucleotide repeat on chromosome 4p16.3 that causes uncontrollable muscle

The Controversial Topic of Genetic Testing

1218 words - 5 pages this growing technology to use. Some agree that it is a person’s right to know and understand his or her genetic makeup. However, others argue that, despite the benefits of genetic testing, caution should be used to carefully inspect the risks associated with this new technology. Relatively simple tests can be used to conduct genetic testing on adults and children; even fetuses can undergo testing, but at greater risk for complications. Currently

Ethical Issues in Genetic Testing

1317 words - 5 pages four nucleotides are essential for our life survival. A small change in one letter can cause critical damage to a individual. As technology has evolved, scientists are now able to crack genetic code and have been able to discover the complete set of human genes. Genetic testing is a medical test that reads out the genetic material contained within the cell which can be used to identify any alterations of chromosomes, genes or proteins. RNA is

Genetic Choices- Prenatal Genetic Testing

1726 words - 7 pages ultimate gene map for genetic tests. There are many risk factors that come from prenatal genetic testing." In 1996, and article in the USA Today, they reported that an insurance company cancelled an entire family's coverage when they discovered one of the children had a genetic disorder that caused mental retardation" (Childress 158). It is crazy to think an insurance company can just kick a family off just for an abnormality. Another rick factors

Different Categories of Genetic Testing

1196 words - 5 pages Genetic testing is basically the analysis of an individual’s DNA to determine if they are susceptible to certain diseases or are carriers which can lead to their offspring suffering from a genetic disorder. Genetic testing is able to do so by indicating if there are any abnormalities or mutations in a person’s chromosomes, genes, or proteins. According to the Genetics Home Reference which is a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

Genetic Testing of African Americans

3565 words - 14 pages , although genetic testing is scientific, it is underlined by commercial motivations, and is divisive in that it differentiates Afro-Americans genetically based on tribal origins, which also raises concerns over the 'genetification' of African ethnicity . Regardless, undertaking genetic testing for the purpose of discovering one's African ancestry, especially for Afro-Americans, is very potent as it grants the opportunity for psychological recovery and

A Christian Perspective on Genetic Testing of Embryos

715 words - 3 pages Gina Kolata’s article, Ethics Questions Arise as Genetic Testing of Embryos Increases (2014), explains that as the increase of the testing of embryos for parents to choose whether or not to have children has also brought its ethical questions in the light. Kolata uses the Kalinskys case, a family in the article, and how their neurological disease, Gerstmann-Straussler-Schinker (GSS), has raised questions for ethicists who have looked into the

Similar Essays

The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Genetic Testing

861 words - 4 pages help people make decisions about having children. Newborn genetic screenings can help identify genetic disorders early in life so treatment can be started as early as possible so that the unwanted gene will not pass on. Most of the opinions in the genetic testing seminar were on the positive side, choosing that it should be used more often. The generic testing can help better prepare people for what they can pass down if they choose to have

The Benefits Of Genetic Testing Essay

1593 words - 6 pages purpose to confirm a diagnosis when a genetic condition is suspected based on physical signs and symptoms. Diagnostic testing can be performed at any time in the lifespan, including before birth. Similar in purpose to the diagnostic testing is the carrier testing, mainly used to identify if a person is heterozygous for a mutation. This type of testing would be best fit for individuals who have a family history of a genetic disorder and perhaps wish

The Ethics Of Genetic Testing Essay

3438 words - 14 pages The Ethics of Genetic Testing The Goal of the Human Genome Project is to obtain genetic mapping information and to determine the complete sequence of all human DNA by the year of 2005. The project started in 1990 and 180 million dollars are being spent on it annually. This adds up to a total of over 2 billion dollars for the 15 year budget. Of this 2 billion dollars budgeted, 5% is spent annually on the ethical, legal and social issues

Genetic Testing On Animals Essay

2111 words - 8 pages the public. It is true that scientists are constantly testing new drugs every day, and are always trying to find a cure for diseases. Now, if a scientist discovers or makes a cure for cancer, and it is tested and approved, then is it not in their moral obligation to promote and provide this drug for the public? Scientists are what the public depends on to help them out. So when something is discovered or prepared it is in the duty of the