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Knowing One’s DNA Genetic Makeup: Pros and Cons Essay

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Updated: May 12th, 2022

Introduction

I have not yet obtained my DNA profile because I have not experienced a situation that warrants or necessitates obtaining it. However, I anticipate knowing my DNA makeup. For example, it would be necessary if I had a medical situation that would require me to obtain information about my genetic makeup. Even though it has several benefits, I have not yet decided to undergo DNA screening. DNA testing is important. However, few people undergo DNA screening or profiling. Knowing one’s genetic makeup has several pros and cons.

Pros

Pros of knowing one’s genetic makeup include ease of disease screening, resolution of crimes, and better health and economic decisions (Easteal et al, 2007). Research has revealed that DNA testing is a viable method of resolving criminal cases in the justice department of a government. It helps capture criminals and free innocent individuals who have been accused of committing the crime. If an individual is accused falsely of committing the crime, he or she could be exonerated by comparing his or her DNA profile with DNA obtained from the scene of a crime (Easteal et al, 2007). DNA screening enhances the detection of genetic diseases, which helps eradicate them before they become severe (Easteal et al, 2007). It is possible to get screened for genetic diseases that shorten life expectancy. As such, individuals know which diseases they are likely to contract and ways in which they can avoid contracting or developing them. It is a viable preventive measure against certain diseases. For example, individuals need to know their risk levels of developing genetic diseases (Easteal et al, 2007). This is beneficial to them because they make more informed health and economic decisions.

Cons

At the workplace, employers may use an employee’s genetic makeup information illegally. Some employers use their employees’ genetic profiles to obtain insurance or to discriminate against them (Easteal et al, 2007). However, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 established rules and regulations that regulate the use of such information by employers. Another disadvantage of finding out one’s genetic makeup is stress or depression. DNA profiling has the ability to generate information about diseases that an individual is likely to develop (Easteal et al, 2007). Obtaining information concerning diseases that an individual is likely to develop such as emphysema may cause depression because many genetic diseases are expensive to treat. For example, treatment of alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency costs over $100,000 a year (Easteal et al, 2007). In addition, the knowledge that one might not get a job or insurance because of their genetic makeup is stressful and depressive. If employers get access to such information, it is easy for them to deny the individual a job because of possible health costs likely to be incurred in the future due to health complications.

Conclusion

Knowing one’s DNA genetic makeup has both pros and cons. It is important in the resolution of paternity rows, resolution of criminal cases, and beneficial in disease screening. In addition, it aids individuals to make more informed health and economic decisions. On the other hand, it has certain cons. Information regarding one’s genetic makeup could be used illegally by employers and insurance companies. Employers may decline to employ individuals whose genetic makeup reveals signs of developing certain genetic diseases such as cancer or emphysema. In addition, it might discourage insurance companies from providing a health cover.

Reference

Easteal, S., Leod, N., & Reed, K. (2007). DNA Profiling: Principles, Pitfalls, and Potential. New York: Hardwood Academic Publishers.

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IvyPanda. (2022, May 12). Knowing One’s DNA Genetic Makeup: Pros and Cons. https://ivypanda.com/essays/knowing-ones-dna-genetic-makeup-pros-and-cons/

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"Knowing One’s DNA Genetic Makeup: Pros and Cons." IvyPanda, 12 May 2022, ivypanda.com/essays/knowing-ones-dna-genetic-makeup-pros-and-cons/.

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IvyPanda. "Knowing One’s DNA Genetic Makeup: Pros and Cons." May 12, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/knowing-ones-dna-genetic-makeup-pros-and-cons/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Knowing One’s DNA Genetic Makeup: Pros and Cons." May 12, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/knowing-ones-dna-genetic-makeup-pros-and-cons/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Knowing One’s DNA Genetic Makeup: Pros and Cons'. 12 May.

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