Mental Health Service Gaps in the U.S. OR Ethical Issues with Genomics
Genomics can provide answers to important problems in medicine and biology through the study of the organism’s whole genome and the DNA contained in it. Genomics has the potential to change the way health care functions. However, ethical concerns occupy considerably high priority, especially when it comes to the study of the human genome.
Some of the most common ethical concerns surrounding genomics research are related to the viability of using human subjects in research. Another important consideration is about the role of religious, cultural, and legal perspectives with respect to genetics and the health of the human population. A third concern is related to the discrimination by employers and health insurers (“Ethical, Legal and Social Issues in Genomic Medicine”, 2017).
Current Legislation for Ethical Issues in Genomics Research
Participation of human subjects in genomic research was restricted because of the discrimination faced by participants based on their genetics from employers and insurers. To address this, Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 was passed to protect the interests of the participants. Further, non-patenting of DNA was mandated during 2013 and regulation of genetic testing by FDA. Also, the protection of an individual’s genomic information using appropriate measures in genomic research privacy defines boundaries for various aspects of genomic research.
Human Cloning and Ethical Considerations
The most sentimental argument about human cloning comes from the religious perspective with respect to cloning trying to play God (Putatunda, 2016). Ethical concerns in cloning arise from its high failure rate, and the occurrence of disability and deformity in cloned animals. These aspects make it questionable for testing on humans. However, one of the major advantages of cloning in allowing sterile or homosexual couples to have children and the process or organ repair through stem cells substantiates for the need to perform additional research to make the process safer and more accurate.
The ethical concerns to be addressed with respect to cloning include the implications for the child, the play of eugenics when considering cloning an individual and the loss of individuality for a person who has been cloned. Large scale human cloning is further complex ethically as it might lead to a modification of the gene pool.
Ethical Issues Related to Stem Cell Research
Another area of high regulation is embryonic stem cell. The two contradicting principles inherent in embryonic stem cell research include the alleviation of suffering versus valuing human life. The process requires that the embryo be destroyed for carrying out scientific research. In this context, the destruction of the embryo is considered equivalent to the destruction of an unborn child and hence debatable (“Embryonic stem cell research: an ethical dilemma”, 2015). The other position regarding the destruction of the embryo is that it did not stand a chance to develop into a child as it was not …