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The Story of Genetic Counseling in America, Essay Example

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Essay

Provide 1 example of each type of genotype-environment correlation from your life (passive, active, reactive).

Gene-environment correlations (or rGE) are causal and non-causal life experinces. Causal mechanisms pertain to genetic control related to environmental exposure. Many variants in the genetic arena stimulate environmental exposure indirectly through behavior. Scientists advance threecausal mechanisms responsible for creating gene-environment correlations. They are passive, active and reactive.Passive gene-environment correlation is the relationship established between a child’s genotype inherited from their parents and the environment from which the child is raised (Jaffee & Price, 2007).

For example, my parents established a home environment based on characteristics derived from their fore parents. This includes architecture and cherished artifacts in the form furniture and landscape. Biological factors such as the shape of body structures are also genotypes. Precisely, the shape of my nose, and lips are identical to my mom. Also, the shape of my eldest son’s toes is just like mine. Further, genotype relationships often are linked to behavior and cognition of parents as intermingling with the environment occurs. This is referred to spurious relationships because my parents are neat and orderly and this behavior is inherited by me(Jaffee & Price, 2007).

Active genotypes express a great degree of extroversion. For me this is demonstrated in my interaction with members of my church, social groups and love for nature. The correlation could develop from non-causal actors, but merely a genetic drift ().

A reactive gene-environment correlation occurs in situations where the inherited behavior expressed creates an environmental response. For example, my financial difficulties could make it difficult for me to meet basic needs of daily living (Waldman, 2007).

Discuss the ethics of genetic counseling and make a debate for or against it acting as if you were asked to write social policy on this issue.

Genetic counselling has become very popular in modern societies especially, since people are becoming more aware of its influence on social, psychological and to some extent physical characteristics inherited byoffspring. The debate is whether genetic outselling ought to be encouraged or silenced due to ethical considerations.

Arguments as projected by theThe National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) are that genetic counselling is necessary because it offers understanding as well as adaptation to pertaining to ‘medical, psychological and familial’ (Stern, 2012, p. 40) linkages among genetic factors related to disease. While this is relevant, of what significance is this information to individuals and families, generally, it could be asked? More importantly, the process is highly scientific. Its two components are education regarding inheritance, management of genetic dysfunctions, testing for genetic irregularities, prevention of genetic disorders among in high risk populations and resource support. The second feature is counseling itself aimed at helping persons make wise choices in cases of a genetic dilemma (Stern, 2012).

The contention here is how effective has genetic counselling been in understanding genetic irregularities? Does the preventative aspect make any sense to people who have no genetic disorder history? Recent developments in the science has mandated genetic counseling in pregnant mothers just for the purposes of education. Ethically, this scares many mothers and they then begin meditating on some of these potential genetic birth defects and become depressed.

Consequently, in arguments against genetic counselling the timing must be planned. Pregnant women, especially, during the last trimester of pregnancy should not receive even if a genetic abnormality is suspected/diagnosed. It can be considered unethical. After delivery genetic counselling could be encouraged, but professionally monitored.

References

Stern, A. (2012).Telling Genes: The Story of Genetic Counseling in America. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Jaffee, S., & Price, T. (2007). Gene-environment correlations: a review of the evidence and Implications for prevention of mental illness. Molecular Psychiatry 12 (5): 432–442

Waldman, D. (2007). Gene–environment interactions reexamined: Does mother’s marital stability interact with the dopamine receptor D2 gene in the etiology of childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder? Development and Psychopathology 19 (4): 1117–1128

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