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ECT News Community   »   TechNewsWorld Talkback   »   Welcome the age of Gattaca

Re: Genomics Meets Sacramento
Posted by: Sonia Arrison 2008-06-27 05:02:43
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Personalized medicine is touted as the wave of the future, but recent government action points to problems for Americans looking to join the health revolution. Last week, California's Department of Public Health issued cease-and-desist letters to 13 genetic testing startups, threatening to deny service to consumers curious about their DNA. "Any laboratory offering genetic tests to California residents must be licensed as a clinical laboratory in California. The tests must be ordered by a licensed physician and validated," reads a statement on the department's Web site.

Your DNA
Posted by: realitycheck 2008-07-01 16:06:57 In reply to: Sonia Arrison
Are you sure that you want the goverment and doctors to have your DNA analyasis?

Lets assume that you want to practice preventive medicine. You truely believe that taking care of yourself will add years to your life. You go to your Doctor and have a DNA test done. The test shows that you have a partial gene for heart disease. Your doctor checks your homocysteine level and advises you to take extra B vitamins. Great you are taking responsibility for your health and your physician is helping.

You are driving home and your car is hit which causes you to fracture your arm. You go to the hospital and follow up with you doctor. For whatever reason you sue the other driver for expenses you incurred. The insurance company request a copy of your file from your doctor. Did you really read the consent form? It normally allows for all information to be release not just information from the accident. Your DNA results have just been sent to an insurance company. Remember you have a Gene that could possibly lead to heart disease. You have just released that information to people who don't need to know. Yes Congress passed a law that you cannot use genetic results in a way that would harm a person. ie: increased life insurance premiums ect. But there are laws in every state that the use of a gun in a robbery carries a higher level of crime associated with it. I sure that the law stops people from using guns in a robbery.

Also remember that the person that pays the bill for something has the right to it. Insurance companies that pay for genetic testing have the right to the results. Are you sure you want them to have this information?

Once you give away your freedom, it is almost impossible to get it back.

I am for keeping the government, doctors and insurance companies out of my personal life.

Welcome the age of Gattaca
Posted by: aferozpu 2008-06-27 06:48:22 In reply to: Sonia Arrison
Sure, its great to know about your genome and any pitfalls you may face throughout your life, but what is stopping others from using "genome devices", similar to those in the 1997 movie Gattaca, to enforce discrimination based on your genome.

It is just a movie, but I am sure it will be used to discriminate if this type of classification is left unregulated.

This article did not consider that the devices which give information about your genome are inaccurate and lead to false conclusions. The fact is most people may not know how to interpret genome information, and worse they can be misled by someone who is not a doctor.

In my view, California is doing the right thing by regulating this emerging field by imposing restriction of validation.

The "new rules" should be imposed to take in to account how the new technology produces genome analysis conclusions. Furthermore, they should hold those responsible for creating the conclusions, to some degree, if they are incorrect.

We should all be weary of the possibility of another type of discrimination fueled in the name of technology. Information is power, but not many people know how to use it, and this often leads to the loss of knowledge and ignorance.
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Should businesses and organizations require staff to provide proof of Covid-19 vaccination before physically coming to work?
Yes -- At this point it makes good sense and will help stop the spread of the virus.
No -- It sets a bad precedent against personal privacy and civil liberties.
I'm Not Sure -- There are valid arguments for and against vaccine requirements.