bioethics_lecture8 - :GeneticControl MichaelTrestman ,...

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Biomedical Ethics Lecture 8: Genetic Control Michael Trestman Intro to Genetic Control: The basic issue here is that a variety of new techniques, some already existing and many  more in development, give doctors a range of powers to help patients.  But many of the  techniques have potentially dangerous or troubling ethical and social implications. How do we decide whether or not such techniques should be allowed, how they should  be employed, and who should have the authority to control them (e.g. the patient, the  doctor, the government)? Genetic screening   You can test  infants  or  adults  to see if they have genetic markers that show elevated risk  for a particular disease.  This might be useful for prevention or early treatment. e.g. PKU: disorder where individuals are unable to metabolize the amino acid  phenylalanine.  Will normally cause severe mental retardation, but effects can be  greatly ameliorated with a restricted diet. -should such testing be mandatory?   Yes: children should be protected.  (paternalism) No: requiring it is a violation of parents freedom of choice. (autonomy) No: in this case, might not be worth it (false positives can be harmful,  social cost doesn’t outweigh the benefit) e.g. Sickle Cell: can cause anemia and blockage of blood vessels, leading to 
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This note was uploaded on 03/23/2011 for the course PHI 15 taught by Professor Dworkin during the Spring '08 term at UC Davis.

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bioethics_lecture8 - :GeneticControl MichaelTrestman ,...

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