Friday, May 5, 2017

You Can Now Buy a Commercial Genetic Test, But Don't Treat it Like a Pregnancy Test

So far, commercial testing is now available for genetic diseases like Alzheimers, although it is not the "tell all" if the individual will develop the disease. The author of this article claims things like genetic testing cannot really define whether or not the disease will exist in you or your family because age has a lot to do which the way the genes are present. As beneficial as this process may sound, and be to the customer, it also poses a privacy threat amongst relatives. The information gained from tests like these not only tell a great deal about the individual's health, but those who are related to them that may not want to know the knowledge gained from the analysis. It would be unfair for a sibling to relay possible fatal information that one may not want to know. Commercializing genetic tests makes this easier to occur without the pre and post-test counseling that is put in place with professional genetic councilers. Possible consequences of this raw knowledge without speaking to a professional to fully understand the results are the effect on mental health, finances and employment prospects, life and health insurance, marriage, and childbearing. I do not believe individuals should have this information at their disclosure without truly understanding what the results mean and how it could affect family members. I believe it is not right for individuals to tell relatives their genetic background if it could endanger the way they live their lives. 

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