The Ethics Behind Modern Genetics
Science, Technology, and Society Quesions:

You need answer only one of the questions below.

The research necessary to answer these questions should be conducted during class.  At the half-way point we will meet as a group to see where we are.

This final product of this assignment should be a formal, written response to one of the questions below in full  (in other words, all the subquestions as well).  It should be a minimum of two pages (double-spaced) in length.  Try to be objective even though you are telling your opinion.  Explain why you would make the choices you make.  Do not pontificate.  Also, give the read as much insight as you can into your knowledge of genetics.
 

1.  Imagine that one of your parents suffered from Huntington’s disease.  What would be the probabili
ty that you, too, would someday manifest the disease?  There is no cure for Huntington’s.  Would you want to be tested for the Huntington’s allele?  Why or why not?  Suppose you tested positive.  In what ways would this information change your life?
 

2.  Proponents of the discredited eugenics movement believe the human population would be improved if individuals suffering from genetic defects, such as cystic fibrosis or Tay-Sachs disease, could be sterilized or persuaded not to have children.  Would the implementation of this strategy eliminate these defects?  Why or why not?  How might new tests that identify carriers of harmful alleles bolster eugenics?  Are such tests an opportunity or a danger for society?  Why?


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