Pros and Cons of Genetic Screening


As medicine continues to advance, we as a society learn more and more about how we tick. A recent improvement in this regard was the human genome project, which has helped to map out how certain parts of our genes express themselves in our lives. Advancements similar to this have created the first versions of genetic screening.

Genetic screening holds a great deal of potential for finding and facing medical conditions before they are expressed. However, with this foresight comes a host of practical and ethical considerations that our society will have to resolve. Lets take a moment to review the pros and cons associated with genetic screening. With any luck, you will leave this a little better informed regarding the subject.

What Are the Pros of Genetic Screening?

Help Predict Problems Before They Arise.
Genetic screening shines in its ability to help predict problems before they occur. For example, if you are concerned that you might be at risk for breast cancer, or you are afraid that your child will be at risk for a genetic disorder, then you can have yourself screened. The genetic screening will make you aware of whether or not you have the risk factors associated with your concerns.

Using this information, you can then begin preparing. The kind of preparation you make will be dependent on the condition that may come about. Either way, you are provided with a heads up and the knowledge to act.

What Are the Cons of Genetic Screening?

May Lead to Denial of Coverage.
One of the leading ethical concerns regarding genetic screening is that you may be denied coverage from an insurer. If genetic screenings become mandatory or popular, then an insurance provider may require you get screened prior to acceptance into one of their insurance plans. As a result, those who have the potential for disorders, diseases, breast cancer, and more may find it hard to get coverage when they need it the most.

A Maybe, Not a Certainty
Genetic screening rarely shows you anything with certainty. Rather, it shows you that you may be predisposed to have something. The difference is really important. If you only have an increased chance for something then it doesn’t mean you will get it. Some preventative steps can do more harm then good to people. As a result, the knowledge gained by genetic screening has to be handled very carefully as it can have life altering implications.