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Is Genetic Testing Right for You and Your Family, Article Critique Example

Pages: 3

Words: 720

Article Critique

In the history of human civilisation, one of the primary desires and obsessions of a human being was the desire of health and living a long life. At each stage of human development humanity had to face various diseases and fight them in order to survive. Nowadays, the worst health nightmare is related to the inherited or genetic diseases. In this regard, the aim of this paper is to conduct a critique of an article on genetic screening by Harold Polack and to outline whether genetic testing is right for an individual and his family.

The article pays attention to the issues of genetic screening in terms of a systematic perspective. In this regard, it does not only pay attention to whether it is beneficial to find out about predisposition of the future child to genetic diseases or not but also views the consequences of getting the result and dealing with it. In this regard, it is outlined that nowadays both society and healthcare system are not prepared to conduct, explain and treat the results of the genetic screening effectively (Pollack, 2010). It is argued that there are very few specialists who can counsel couples on genetic illnesses effectively and with the right qualification. From the sociological and ethical perspectives, the result might become a means of stigmatizing people as deficient and change their present and future status in the society (Pollack, 2010). Strictly from the medical perspective, it is argued that although future parents might receive a negative test result, it does not always mean that they know how to address this disease properly and might simply terminate pregnancy without the potential child even chance to be different and survive (Pollack, 2010).

In its argumentation, the article is well-balanced, using specific examples of weak X disease and related issues to spotting, treating and living with this disease. It also uses interviews with the actual parents who had to deal with it (Pollack, 2010). Thus, it gives a deep representation of the issue. On the other hand, orientation on a single treatable disease leaves out the cases when there are genetic mutations that make one’s life virtually impossible. In such cases, interruption of pregnancy is an act of mercy both for the potential child and his parents.  Although the article mentions this aspect, it does not elaborate on it, because it would slightly shift the intended purpose of the argument. Another crucial aspect of the discourse is that in order to prevent the irrelevant ethical and financial implications of prenatal and post-natal screening, the genetic tests regarding parents compatibility should be done before the couple decides to get together and create a family. Although this might be a bit artificial, with the increased number of genetic diseases and increasing degree of mutations, not being able to have healthy children would destroy one’s family anyway.

Personally, I am convinced that genetic testing is only beneficial for me and my future family. If I had some recessive genes that could be further stimulated by genes of my future partner resulting in genetic mutations, I would want to know in advance before even planning a child of my own in order to prevent unnecessary pain and suffering for all parties. On the other hand, I agree with the author of the article that although genetic screening is essential in the contemporary world, people and national healthcare are not prepared to handling the issue efficiently and accurately. In this regard, it does not mean that the process itself is harmful but that the healthcare should evolve around the realities of genetic testing and consequent requirements of patients.

After all, if the doctors are not prepared to read tests and explain them properly to the parents, it is not the mistake of parents who took the test but the system of medical education that does not prepare practicing doctors to the contemporary practices. Thus, the article makes the case for the necessity of a more systematic treatment of the genetic screening, preparation of the right specialists and consequent changes in healthcare. I would advise it to anyone interested in the subject and for the general knowledge of the subject matter.

Reference

Pollack, Harold. (2010). Put to the test: as genetic screening gets cheaper and easier, it’s raising questions that health-cam providers aren’t prepared to answer. The American Prospect, 21.9. Retrieved from http://ic.galegroup.com.

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