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Genetic Mapping in the United States Essay

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Updated: May 16th, 2022

Genetic mapping is allowed and regulated by the Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act (GINA) in the United States (Krimsky & Simoncelli, 2012). The inclusion of GINA as a law has been critical in ensuring that the country’s health insurance companies do not engage in acts of discrimination during a genetic testing. This non-discriminatory law is also applicable to employers who want to discriminate their employees on the basis of health conditions (Krimsky & Simoncelli, 2012).

The United States’ policy on genetic mapping as stipulated by GINA states that no single American should be discriminated against accessing information on genetic testing. The United States government requires that any individual who consents to genetic mapping should be well advised and informed. Medics and doctors who conduct genetic mapping are expected to abide to the ethical principle of disclosure to a patient. The United States policy on genomes through GINA prohibits any genetic database that exists without a license from relevant authorities. In this case, all hospitals should have a licensed genetic database (Krimsky & Simoncelli, 2012).

In the United States, information on genomes can be used in a legal contest. This is only possible if the genome information is not appealing to public disposal. It is a policy in the United States for health insurers to provide less-costly healthcare covers in relation to genetic mapping services. It is also legally predetermined that pharmaceutical researchers shall be provided with government incentives in developing new disease cures.

In the United States, genetic mapping services are required to be conducted under clinical standards of care (Krimsky & Simoncelli, 2012). Moreover, the country’s government does not allow the use of inheritable genetic modification (IGM). It is important to note that human cloning in the US is not permitted. Genetic mapping does not allow modification of genes and development of designed humans. This may cause an ethical dilemma in relation to the diverse cultural values present in the country.

International policies on genetic mapping restrict the concept to acquiring knowledge on certain genetic attributes of illnesses. An international perspective on genetic mapping highlights the fact that the phenomenon should focus on understanding human biology and emerging diseases. However, international standards agreed upon by the Council of International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS) presuppose that ethical standards in such undertakings must be observed (Nordgren, 2001). Unlike in the United States, the CIOMS does not foresee any ethical dilemma that can stall any development in genetic mapping. CIOMS focuses its genetic mapping services on screening and gene therapy (Nordgren, 2001). However, genetic testing and modification are allowed in the United States only under strict GINA laws and policies.

CIOMS also acknowledges the advancement of genetic mapping and advocates for sensitivity in matters regarding reproduction and human life. International genetic mapping policies allow the use of other forms of lives in genetic mapping (Nordgren, 2001). Such forms of lives can be animals and plants. The international policy on genetic mapping indicate that an independent ethical review is required when genetic mapping services are conducted on a child (Nordgren, 2001). On the contrary, genetic mapping of children in the United States can be conducted with the consent of a parent. A multidisciplinary and trans-cultural dialogue policy is recommended by CIOMS, to ensure that genetic mapping does not violate cultural values of certain community members across the globe (Nordgren, 2001). Finally, an international perspective on genetic mapping by CIOMS reflects that human genome services should be provided to developing countries at an affordable cost.


Krimsky, S., & Simoncelli, T. (2012). Genetic data banks, criminal investigations and civil liberties. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

Nordgren, A. (2001). Responsible genetics: The moral responsibility of geneticists for the consequences of human genetics research. New York, NY: Springer.

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