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Access to Genetic Information


1.     The problem is that insurance companies and employers want access to genetic test results, but people think that they will be discriminated in some way. For example, from the point of view of the employees, they are most likely not going to be hired by employers if they have a health problem. Also, they can be charged additional money by the insurance company for having a condition such as high blood pressure. This is since they would be more likely to need expensive medical care. From the point of view of the employers and insurance companies, they want the advantage of getting more money or saving money. The insurance company sets their money rates based on a person’s risk of health problems, and they argue that they would need to raise rates for everyone if they were unable to gather the information on the person’s health status. The employers often pick people without health problems since they might be charged higher health insurance rates and would lose work time if they picked people with health problems. In conclusion, there is a great problem deciding who should have access to genetic test results, for people don’t want to be discriminated against as a result of them.


2.     The pros of keeping genetic test results private are that the health insurance company won’t know what your health status is and might not charge you extra money; employers might not know if any of their employees have health problems and might hire them as a result; you won’t be afraid of the insurance company or your employers to get a hand on your test results; and you could get early treatment if you had a disorder. The cons of keeping genetic test results private are that the insurance company might not insure you anymore since they don’t know the test results; the employers might not hire them if their status is labeled “uncertain”; they probably won’t earn that much money since they would most likely not have a job if they kept their test result secret; and if they had a disorder, it wouldn’t be treated early. Reasons to maintain privacy would be for employers and the insurance company not to know about your health status; you would not be discriminated based on test results; and rates might not be raised for you (for insurance). The reasons that test result should be shared are that the insurance company could insure you if you had expensive medical care instead of paying it yourself if they decided to abandon you since you didn’t give them the test results; you can seek early treatment if you had a disorder; and if they are positive test results, then you could receive benefits from it like getting a job and paying less money for insurance.


3.     Number 1: Insurance companies could have access to genetic information only if they would not increase the rate if the disorder were not life-threatening or common, like high blood pressure.

I would make this rule because many people have high blood pressure and if the insurance companies were to make every single person who had it pay extra money, then it would be unfair. Also, if it weren’t life-threatening, then it usually wouldn’t need expensive medical treatment.

Number 2: Employers can have access to genetic information only if the job that the person if applying for requires physical activity and they need to be in good physical condition, like a steelworker.

I would make this rule especially because not every job needs a person to be physically fit. For example, being a computer programmer doesn’t need athleticism since all you do is sit in front of a computer all day. The employers can’t assume that if these people had a health problem, then they would miss every work day and they might even be a genius.

Number 3: The only way that doctors and/or scientist can get access to genetic information is that they vow to never transfer information without the permission of the person.

I would make this rule because if the person wanted the doctor or scientist to transfer the information, then he/she would say so. If they didn’t want them to, then the doctors and/or scientist should respect that.


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