- How could the information in your genome benefit an individual?
- What are some of the ethical considerations that occur when sequencing your whole genome?
- What are the implications of inaccurate genome sequencing?
- What are some of the negative implications of knowing your susceptibility to developing a disease?
- How can knowing your genomic sequence alter your perception of who you are?
Information about genetics helps people improve their health, preventing some severe side –effects of some drugs and minimize or prevent deaths. The knowledge might initiate a change of lifestyle and help to evade the impact or stave off the onset of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases (Koboldt et al., 2013). Genetics information helps in altering diet and making arrangements for future medical care as well as decisions concerning reproduction.
The identified ethical considerations of genome sequencing in humans may range from one to another. They include; the obligations that are owed to participants’ close genetic relatives, the conditions under which the results of the research are given to the research participants and the many options regarding how future sample uses, the whole-genome sequencing data are handled or dealt with.
Inaccurate genome -sequencing has its own implications. Women whose family members have a history of breast cancer, for mutations get screened in a set of BRCA genes, which are the cause of about 5% of potential breast cancers (Linksvayer & Wade, 2009). If the test is positive, they can quit smoking and undergo repetitive mammograms. Some of them, however, take extreme measures of mastectomy even when they don’t have signs of cancer although having a high likelihood of developing it. Another implication is discrimination on basis of inaccurate genome sequencing. An employer could deny a chance to a potential applicant due to them being at risk for Parkinson’s due to them having to pay for medical treatment. Due to a predisposition to heart diseases, coverage can be denied to them by some insurance companies.
There are negative issues ranging from medical, psychological, ethical and even legal arising from individuals knowing they are susceptible to developing a disease. Susceptible fellows especially children and adolescent might suffer from increased uncertainty. This is a psychological problem especially facing persons recognized as having a life-shortening illness. Children suffering from hereditary diseases experience low self-esteem issues. This may occur due to their state disclosed outside their family members ensuing loss of privacy. In return, this alters their self-image.
Family relationships may face the effects of its members realizing that they are susceptible to certain diseases. A child having a deleterious gene may be treated differently from others by their parent, rejected or overindulged. Discrimination and stigmatization are faced by individuals with at risk for transmitting a deleterious gene to their offspring or at risk of developing a disease (Krantz & McCeney, 2002). The possibility of a dangerous disease may interfere with someone’s occupational choices, educational goals, and specific career plans. Individuals with information about their future health may have implications on their life planning leading top giving birth early or even early marriages.
The genomic sequence may have a positive or a negative alteration to perceptions to those individuals affected. This is dependent on their age, the guidance they get and how they are treated by the immediate parents. For example, a child diagnosed with certain genes may face lowered esteem and even in some cases leading to committing suicide if not well advised. Some of the diseases demoralize individuals and give up in life as they lose the hope of living long and self-morale.