The Eugenics Wars: Didn’t You Learn Anything From Star Trek?!

Genetic, Testing, Abortion, Fetal, Deformity, Condition, Insurance, Discrimination, Pro-Life, Pro-Choice

Would you consider yourself to be perfect?

Do you have any flaws?

Have you or anyone in your family ever experienced disease or disability?

One of the great things about life is that all of us have our own unique set of DNA. This helps set each of us apart as being different and unique, and generally makes life more interesting.

However, this also means that we are genetically prone to different medical conditions. With advances in technology, some of these genetic markers for disease have been discovered and can now be detected in preborn children.

Unfortunately, there are some, such as certain insurance companies, who wish to use this information to discriminate against preborn children [1].

Fortunately, in May 2008, legislation was passed to prevent against this. This law, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), “prohibits U.S. insurance companies and employers from discriminating on the basis of information derived from genetic tests [2].

However, there are still some insurance companies who are trying to find ways to set higher premiums for couples who have a child with genetic indicators that are associated with certain medical conditions.

If successful, this will undoubtedly work to discourage many women from continuing on with these pregnancies.

What our society must be reminded of is that all human lives have value, and it should never be anyone’s right to take away the life of another. Each person deserves a chance to lives, and no one can know with certainty what the future holds.

While all of us may wish we were perfect, the truth is that none of us are.

Our society should not allow parents of children to be given undue stress when all they are trying to do is help their preborn child continue on with his or her life.

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References

[1] Holzman, Neil. (1992). “Genetic Testing – Health Care Issues:.” Access Excellence. N.p., 2011. Web. 22 Jul 2011. http://www.accessexcellence.org/RC/AB/IE/Genetic_Testing.php

[2] U.S. Department of Energy. (2010). “Gene Testing.” Human Genome Project Information. N.p., 2010. Web. 22 Jul 2011. http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/medicine/genetest.shtml#insurance

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Image from www.startrek.com

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