Ethics of Genetic Testing
The ethical principle for genetic testing
Genetic testing refers to the in-depth study of a person’s DNA. The objective of these tests is to identify the existence of any genetic differences that may lead to susceptibility to diseases(Yashon 2018).
The utilitarian ethical theory offers a justification for the existence of genetic testing by employers on employees. Based on the utilitarian theory; the morality of an action is justified by calculating the burden/ benefit ratio. In effect, if an action leads to societal good; the harm caused by an individual for the overall good of society is excusable. In operation, the results of genetic testing offer individuals and society a chance to reorganize their lives and lifestyles based on the in-depth knowledge gathered from the genetic tests. More so, genetic tests offer an opportunity to educate family and society about any risks that arise out of their genetic differences.
Genetic testing raises serious concerns especially in the fields of medicine, public health, and social policies. These issues arise out of the conflict that may exist with the provisions of law which seek to guarantee autonomy for all persons. The concept of autonomy encompasses the right of self-determination and self-rule. As such, the implementation of genetic tests should not infringe upon these inherent rights by maintaining strict confidentiality.
Employers should be allowed the opportunity to order genetic tests if only there is a guarantee that the results will not be used as a source of discrimination. The tests should not be mandatory and should be done at an employees request. It is of paramount importance that the results of these tests be treated with the highest level of confidentiality. Also, once the test results are out; each employee who voluntarily submitted to the test should be counselled on the results of the genetic tests.
In the event that the results determine airborne careers, an employers work decision is limited to taking reasonable caution to avert other employees from contracting airborne diseases. This can be achieved through testing for airborne diseases and giving an employee medical leave. Being a career should not be used as a basis to terminate an employees contract.
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