Value of Life essay

Introduction

Today’s world is fast moving and has so many distractions making most of us to forget easily their true values, they therefore waste time on wrong paths of life that do not lead anywhere and suddenly, they realize that life is over before it actually started. Depending on country or culture or education people maybe influenced by their surrounding and distracted or pulled away form their true values and own goals of life.

The most powerful and only efficient way to really support a true value is by improving ones own way of living and realizing the very own values of life, investing in maintenance, improvements, free peaceful and free distribution and loving expansion of owns values among those see you as their role model and want to follow your living examples. You could also live a true value as a living example without having to impose it on anyone else and finally by admitting those inner values to the world outside e.g. colleagues and family. In the event that ones true values of life co-exist harmoniously with the soul and heart, the innermost divine being then most certainly one will be happier than others and healthier.(Harris, 1990).

A genetic disorder is a disease that is caused by abnormalities in the genetic material of an individual and is grouped into four different types: chromosomal, mitochondrial, multifactorial and single gene. In today’s world, parents have several options when it comes to determining their baby’s health while it is still in the womb. Genetic counseling is one way of prenatal tests. It is a process of testing both parents which helps in determining if the baby is at risk of having or will have an inherited or genetic disorder. It can also reveal if the baby has a genetic disorder which is not inherited e.g. spina bifida or Downs’s syndrome. Each of the parents contributes their genetic information to the baby who eventually has half of his or her genetic code from either parent. A genetic disease results when one gene out of the thirty five thousand experiences an error. In some genetic disorders, one of the two parents can pass it down but others both the parents have to have it for it to be passed down. The most common inherited diseases include: cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, Tay Sachs, marfans syndrome and Huntington’s disease.

Gene test, also called DNA based tests are the most sophisticated and newest techniques that are used to test for genetic disorders and involve examination of the DNA molecule itself. Other genetic test used is the biochemical test for proteins and gene products and for microscopic examination of fluorescent or stained chromosomes. Genetic test serve several purposes like prenatal diagnostic testing, new born screening, presymptomatic testing for prediction of adult onset disorders e.g. Huntington’s disease, confirmatory diagnosis of a symptomatic individual and for identification of unaffected individual who posses one copy of gene for a disease which requires two copies of the gene to be expressed. In gene testing, the patients DNA sample is scanned for mutated sequences, the DNA sample can be obtained form any tissue in the body including blood. DNA testing involves comparison of the sequence of DNA bases found in the patients gene to that of a normal version of the gene. (Chadwick, 1999).

Gene testing has had an improvement impact on lives. Some tests are used for the purpose of clarifying diagnosis and directing a physician to making appropriate treatments while others give permission to families to stop having kids who could have had devastating diseases or identification of people who are at high risk for preventable conditions. For instance, monitoring of colon growths and eventually removing them for those that inherit the gene for familial adenomatous polyposis has saved many lives. It is hoped that development of a gene test that will give doctors a simple diagnostic test for the usual iron storage diseases is underway and will to transform the condition from being usually fatal to be treatable.

Commercialized gene tests for adult onset disorders e.g. some cancers and Alzheimer’s are subject of most of debate that involve gene testing. These tests are targeted at healthy or presymptomatic individuals who are at high risk as a result of the family having strong medical history of the disorder and the tests only give the probability of development of the disorder. However though, one limitation of this susceptibility test is the hardness experienced in interpreting positive result because some individual who posses mutation associated with the disease never develop the disease. (Jones, 1976)

Some disorders that can be currently tested include Alzheimer’s disease, hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer, Ataxia telangiectasia and gaucher disease.

In the United States currently, there are no regulations that have been put in place for evaluation of the accuracy and reliability of genetic testing. Most laboratories classify these genetic tests as services which are not regulated by FDA. Despite insurance companies wanting to charge premiums on the basis of gene test, there are limitations however. In May 2008 the genetic information nondiscrimination became law and it does not allow insurance companies in America and other employers to discriminate on the basis of genetic information tests. GINA protects Americans from discriminations on genes and forbids insurance companies from reduced pricing r coverage and also prohibits employers from making employment decisions based on genetic tests. It inhibits them by not allowing employers and insurers to demand results for genetic tests. Genetic testing should be necessary for insurance companies because from the information they can tell the premiums that one will pay because genetic testing makes it hopeful those researchers with live saving therapy for diseases that have hereditary links. It will also enable doctors to determine problems early and therefore insurance companies for instance that offer life insurance policies will be able to tell the cost of premiums. Therefore, insurance companies should have access to genetic information because genetic information is just like any other data since it can be compared with family history records or pre-existing medical conditions. Because insurance companies need to be cost effective, it is unfair to ask them to operate without a complete medical history. However though, most people hide critical information intentionally because they are in fear that their premiums will go high or they suffer from complete denial of insurance. (Andrews, 1994)

Since the role of genomics is getting more prominent with time in the health field, questions t hat pertain health coverage of individuals has arisen in the industry of insurance. This is because the ability to know if an illness or disease will, before symptoms develop, occur, is usually compared to having a glimpse of the future. The benefits are tremendous for instance, a woman may request for a genetic testing because her sister and mother died of breast cancer before reaching the age of forty. If she learns that she does not carry the mutation responsible for her mothers and sisters’ breast cancer will create release of psychological stress because her risk for breast cancer will go back to that of the general population. But the woman who carries the mutation must live with reality that she is between sixty five and eighty five percent susceptible to develop the disease. Consequently, to an insurance underwriter, having in mind the fact that the genetic tests results indicate that the woman may become a high liability to the company or is in equal risk with general population become important in formulation of policies, more so health. (Diedrich, 1995). Insurance companies have suggested several reasons why genetic information should be made available to them. First, there is the chance that adverse selection may occur hence threatening the financial stability of the individual insurance companies and maybe by extension, the entire industry. Adverse selection means an individual with greater incentive to buy more insurance policies because he or she has knowledge concerning a pending illness and therefore holds back this information from the insurance company. Secondly, genetic information should be made available to insurance companies so that they ensure that all procedures and services are medically necessary and the charges being reasonable.

Insurance companies should access genetic information of the before insuring clients so that it will be able to do away with the disadvantage of antiselection or selfselection. This means those individuals who are very aware that they are seriously ill and have short or few years to live be going to engage in taking out policies for life insurance with autonomous money amounts. Since they won’t reveal this genetic information, they will be considered as normal and healthy insurance takers. The insurance company will suffer a great loss and will be forced to raise their premiums eventually. As a result therefore, many insurance takers who are “healthy” will abandon this company and try to look for insurance policies in a company that is different. For instance in Netherlands, life insurance policies exceeding 300.000f will make the insurance company ask for genetic information. (Carter, 2006)

Just recently, the Economist had observation on the topic, of life and health insurance. It stated that insurance companies should have access to genetic information because if they don’t, it will mean the en of private insurance. Because the individuals themselves will be in a position to know their genetic risk and those who know that they are to die in a few years time will take out very big policies on themselves and eventually leading to collapse of insurance company. Most countries have public life insurance and to prevent them from being bankrupt, they must be granted access to genetic information. Since insurance companies are just businesses like any other, it tries to make the maximum profit it can make. It makes its profits by receiving premiums that are paid by the insured which is based on the risks that the insured is subjected to e.g. sickness therefore, a person with a higher risk either through their fault or by natural means should pay more for insurance. It will not be fair for the public to pay the same premiums with those that have higher risk because if they did, it will mean that those who pay the premiums for many years without becoming sick will have ended up paying for those who were at high risk. This will then make insurance companies to be medical welfare companies. (Cowan 2008)

Insurance companies will have therefore benefited in having genetic tests for their customers because an individual with high risk will have an inflated premium. Genetic screening for abnormalities will enable a doctor to prescribe an early treatment hence allowing the person to live longer. For instance, if a person was found to be having a cancer causing gene, then the best alternative for the person is to modify their behaviors so that expression of the gene can be prevented. This will make him change lifestyles. By linking genes to diseases, scientists will develop treatment for chronic diseases and hence will also influence the insurance industry.

Conclusion

Genetic screening will lead to elimination of numerous diseases in the future and will be to the benefit of every one of us. As we get more information and knowledge about genetic code, we will eventually have information at hand that will enable us predict the code for each inherited disease. Through this, we will be able to develop that an individual may develop disorder. This will then allow us to modify our behaviors so that we can avoid the occurrences of the disorder in most cases. In summary, it can be seen that genetic testing can enable individuals who have been identified as having harmful genetic alterations can be able to receive regular medical check ups hence can enable early detection of cancer. It can also allow individuals who do not carry harmful gene alteration to feel less anxious and also benefit from the knowledge that they not passed the alteration of the gene to their children.

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