BioBank? Not on my watch…

Searching the web, I found a very interesting article in the Silicon Valley newspaper, The Mercury News. The article, entitled, “Would you deposit to ‘biobank?'” was not only interesting, but posed a number of questions. The article essentially described a national bank of DNA that would help further map the human genome. By collecting data from the majority of Americans, scientific professionals would be able to discover all the various nuances in DNA that cause genetic problems. Since the mapping of the human genome, scientists have been able to figure out that certain genes cause disorders like Parkinsons or Huntingtons disease, but more complex disorders involve a number of genes. Essentially by cross referencing a large amount of genes that all contain the same complex disorder, scientists will be able to figure out what exact combinations cause these disorders. It seems like a wonderful plan, eventually we will be able to know exactly what causes the diseases that have mystified us for centuries. However, the article points out one main problem with this solution. It would cost about $1,000 per person, and that federal money is not available to be spent. I see more problems, beyond those of economic nature. Doctors would be turning over their patients medical records to private businesses across the country, putting information that has been kept secret for years right in the hands of the government. Not only will this give crooks the opportunity to obtain valuable information, but it further limits a person’s personal freedoms. These medical records, although supposedly used for scientific purposes, could be used by the government to deny certain applicants of government jobs. Obtaining medical records seems like the first step in total government control, something that we have fought against for centuries. Essentially, I believe that the value of medical informations is too great to certain individuals to be merely handed over to the government for scientific purposes. Once again we have seen science outrun our ability to socially regulate the citizens of the USA.

here is the link to the article:

~ by benmones on March 13, 2008.

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