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Interactives -- DNA

Implications & Ethics : Ethical Questions

Genetic technology will have many benefits, but scientists and others have expressed concerns, especially with regard to how genetic information is used and who has access to it. All technology, after all, can be abused.

Some questions to think about and discuss:

  • Who should have access to a person's genetic information, and what should they be allowed to do with that information?

  • Should a person's genetic predisposition to a disease affect his or her ability to get healthcare or a job?

  • Who should make decisions about whether a pregnancy is terminated or carried to full term?

  • If someone has a genetic disorder, should he or she be allowed to pass that disorder on to a child?

  • Are there any long-term implications of permitting parents to determine the sex of their children using genetic screening?

  • Should parents be permitted to select other traits - height, eye color, intelligence, etc.?

  • Should parents be permitted to test their children (including unborn fetuses) for diseases that won't appear until the child is an adult?

  • Should you tell someone they will get a disease if that disease has no cure?

  • Should you test someone for genes that may make them susceptible to diseases but wouldn't necessarily result in the disease?

  • Do your genes control your future?


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