Advances made by genetics researchers have raised a variety of ethical concerns. For example, the development of tests to identify carriers of diseases and for prenatal detection of diseases such as cystic fibrosis and Huntington’s disease has been met with mixed responses.

Advances made by genetics researchers have raised a variety of ethical concerns. For example, the development of tests to identify carriers of diseases and for prenatal detection of diseases such as cystic fibrosis and Huntington’s disease has been met with mixed responses. Some applaud these tests as they could prevent many infants from being born with damaging or deadly illnesses. Others fear that genetic testing will lead to a world in which only “perfect” people will be allowed to be born. There is also growing concern over who should have access to the results of genetic tests.
Consider the following questions:  Should partners be obligated to inform each other of any genetic defects in their family?  Should insurance companies have the right to access the results of genetic tests so they can adjust the rates for an individual? Should employers be able to screen potential employees based on genetic tests?  Should the government have the right to require genetic testing if it leads to healthier infants?  These questions are just to get your thinking started; it is not necessary to respond to all these questions and you can address other issues if you like.

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