Public policy implications of human genetic technology: Genetic screening

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 7 (4):355-374 (1982)
Abstract
As rapid advances in human genetic research are transferred into new areas of genetic technology, questions relatingto the use of these techniques will escalate. This paper examines some of the policy concerns surrounding recent developments in genetic screening. It discusses the impetus and implications of genetic screening in general, examines various applications, and analyzes the costs and benefits of screening programs currently in existence. Special emphasis is placed on whether or not screening should be considered a matter of public health and mandated on those grounds. This paper argues against any compulsory screening programs except where the disease is easily identified, applicable across social groups, and treatable. While screening services for carriers of genetic disease and prenatal diagnosis should be made available and education programs should be expanded substantially, the burden of proof for involuntary programs is placed on the proponents. There is little public health justification at thb time for mandatory screening though this does not preclude future public health demands. It is argued that the goals and justification of various human genetic technologies must be examined at this time due to the rapid advancement of the research as well as the ultimate benefits promised for humankind. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
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