Future Perfect: Confronting Decisions about Genetics

Future Perfect: Confronting Decisions about Genetics

Future Perfect: Confronting Decisions about Genetics

Future Perfect: Confronting Decisions about Genetics

Synopsis

Genetic technologies have moved off the pages of science fiction and into our everyday lives. Internists now offer genetic testing for cancers and early coronary disease. Obstetricians make genetic predictions during pregnancy about a baby's future health. Even dentists are getting into the act, offering testing for a genetic propensity to peridontal disease. In this pathbreaking book, Lori Andrews provides the first detailed glimpse into how genetic testing can change your self-image, your relationships with loved ones, and your expectations about your children. She documents how ill prepared doctors are to deal with complex genetic issues. Andrews also uncovers the ways in which employers, insurers, schools, and courts have discriminated against people on the basis of their genetic make up. She traces the legal case history of genetics litigation and legislation and describes the ethical and social protections that need to be in place so that the Human Genome Project does not lead us directly toward Brave New World.

In Future Perfect, Lori Andrews offers a new plan for making decisions as individuals and as a society based on emerging issues of ethics and science. Who should have access to your personal genetic information? Should genetic treatments be used to enhance characteristics such as intelligence in "normal" individuals? Should gene therapy be undertaken on embryos, changing their genetic inheritance, as well as that of future generations? If a woman learns she has a genetic mutation predisposing her to breast cancer, does she have a moral or even a legal duty to share that information with an estranged relative? Andrews considers the answer to these and many other questions that have profound implications for health care providers, medical organizations, social institutions, legislatures, courts, and ordinary people.

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