An analysis of the controversial issue of genetic modification of unborn children

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An analysis of the controversial issue of genetic modification of unborn children

Autonomy Ethical Analysis Autonomy can be defined as self-determination, self-rule, or self-governance. Autonomous agents or actions presuppose some capacity of reasoning, deciding, and willing. Moral, social, and legal norms establish obligations to respect autonomous agents and their choices.

An analysis of the controversial issue of genetic modification of unborn children

Respect for personal autonomy implies that agents have the right or power to be self-governing and self-directing, without outside control. In the context of genetic testing and screening, respect for autonomy refers to the right of persons to make an informed, independent judgment about whether they wish to be tested and then whether they wish to know the details of the outcome of the testing.

Autonomy is also the right of the individual to control his or her destiny, with or without reliance on genetic information, and to avoid interference by others with important life decisions, whether these are based on genetic information or other factors.

Respect for autonomy also implies the right of persons to control the future use of genetic material submitted for analysis for a specific purpose including when the genetic material itself and the information derived from that material may be stored for future analysis, such as in a DNA bank or registry file.

Even though respect for autonomy is centrally important in our society, it is not absolute.

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It can be overridden in some circumstances, for example, to prevent serious harm to others, as is the case in mandatory newborn screening for phenylketonuria PKU and hypothyroidism. In particular, cases have held that competent adults have the right to choose whether or not to undergo medical interventions.

Implications for Health and Social Policy. The National Academies Press. A report from the Office of Technology Assessment similarly stressed the importance of knowledge and consent: The consent of the patient is required to remove blood or tissue from his or her body, and also to perform tests, but it is important that the patient be informed of all the tests which are done and that a concern for the privacy of the patient extends to the control of tissues removed from his or her body.

They have privacy if they are left alone and do not suffer unauthorized intrusion by others. Once persons undergo genetic tests, privacy includes the right to make an informed, independent decision about whether—and which—others may know details of their genome e.

Recording and contextualizing the science of embryos, development, and reproduction.

Various justifications have been offered for rules of privacy. First, some philosophers argue that privacy rights are merely shorthand expressions for a cluster of personal and property rights, each of which can be explicated without any reference to the concept of privacy. In making this argument, Judith Jarvis Thomson holds that privacy rights simply reflect personal and property rights, such as the rights not to be looked at, not to be overheard, and not to be caused distress.

Being able to control access to themselves enables people to have various kinds of relationships with different people, rather than being equally accessible to all others. A third approach finds the basis for rights to privacy in respect for personal autonomy.

Decisional privacy is often very close to personal autonomy. The language of personal autonomy reflects the idea of a domain or territory of self-rule, and thus overlaps with zones of decisional privacy.

Page Share Cite Suggested Citation: However, their scope is not unlimited, and they do not always override all other competing interests, such as the interests of others.

An analysis of the controversial issue of genetic modification of unborn children

Legal Issues In the legal sphere, the principle of privacy is an umbrella concept encompassing issues of both autonomy and confidentiality. Constitution, as well as state constitutions. This includes a right to make certain reproductive choices, 13 such as whether to use genetic testing.

An entirely different standard of privacy protects personal information. A few court decisions find protection for such information under the constitutional doctrine of privacy, 15 but more commonly, privacy protection against disclosure of personal information is found under common law tort principles.

Confidentiality Ethical Analysis Confidentiality as a principle implies that some body of information is sensitive, and hence, access to it must be controlled and limited to parties authorized to have such access.

The information provided within the relationship is given in confidence, with the expectation that it will not be disclosed to others or will be disclosed to others only within limits.

The state or condition of nondisclosure or limited disclosure may be protected by moral, social, or legal principles and rules, which can be expressed in terms of rights or obligations.

In health care and various other relationships, we grant others access to our bodies. They may touch, observe, listen, palpate, and even physically invade. They may examine our bodies as a whole or in parts; and parts, such as tissue, may be removed for further study, as in some forms of testing.

Privacy is necessarily diminished when others have such access to us; rules of confidentiality authorize us to control and thus to limit further access to the information generated in that relationship.

Rules of confidentiality appear in virtually every code or set of regulations for health care relationships. Their presence is not surprising, because such rules are often justified on the basis of their instrumental value: Hence, rules of confidentiality are indispensable for patient and social welfare; without those rules, people who need medical, psychiatric, or other treatment will refrain from seeking or fully participating in it.

Another justification for rules of confidentiality is based on the principles of respect for autonomy and privacy, above. Respecting persons involves respecting their zone of privacy and accepting their decisions to control access to information about them. When people grant health care professionals access to them, they should retain the right to determine who else has access to the information generated in that relationship.

Hence, the arguments for respect for autonomy and privacy support rules of confidentiality.Good research-based policy decisions should result from the continuous and simultaneous review of advancements in genetic engineering as studied from an analysis of their ethical and social.

Feb 19,  · NEW YORK — The increasing power and accessibility of genetic technology may one day give parents the option of modifying their unborn children, in order to spare offspring from disease or.

Genetic engineering is the deliberate modification of an organism through the alteration of its genetic code. By removing sections of an organism’s DNA and replacing them with new segments, geneticists can artificially select for certain traits (Simmons).

Social, Legal, and Ethical Implications of Genetic Testing Each new genetic test that is developed raises serious issues for medicine, public health, and social policy regarding the circumstances under which the test should be used, how the test is implemented, and what uses are made of its results.

Whether or not to have children is a major decision for any individual. It is even more difficult Controversial applications of genetic testing such as reproductive cloning and genetic testing for enhancement create a huge challenge The issue of patenting genes as recognition of the.

As a result of the increase in genetic testing and the fear of discrimination by insurance companies, employers, and society as a result of genetic testing, the disciplines of .

The Genetic Testing Controversy