In vitro fertilisation
IVF benefits couples who have certain infertility problems, leading them to have a chance of getting pregnant. It is useful for women who have blocked fallopian tubes or for men with a low sperm count. Also, IVF can also be a treatment of choice at any time that a couple decides that they want to use donor eggs, when the female is having trouble producing her own.
The cost of IVF can be an issue for certain people as each cycle costs an average of £10.000. Also, a disadvantage of IF is that it can lead to multiple births as 5% of the time, women who get an IVF treatment have more children than the one child they wanted which could be a shock to them as they could be unprepared.
Gene technologies can cure certain diseases and can track any life threatening disease in the genes early. Gene technologies also help track potential problems in life so quick improvements can be made.
Gene technologies can interfere with DNA and also influence the body’s genes to what it’s not supposed to be. Also, it brings unnatural effects to the body which are not meant to happen and can prove unsuccessful, especially if you are in complete control of your genetic makeup.
Gene testing is a quick and constantly changing area of medicine. It is probable that tests for more genes will become available within the next few years.
Genetic testing can be too time consuming and expensive to look for a gene fault until the specialists have some idea of the type of fault to look for.
Human genome project
The most important benefit of the Human Genome Project are the medical discoveries that can be linked to HGP. Many serious conditions and diseases can be understood better and treated with the research that is found through the Human Genome Project.
The sharing and study of genes has led to some privacy issues which is a disadvantage as the HGP shares personal information with organisations and government agencies. This leads many to question whether there will come a time when genes will define if you are given treatments. These privacy issues related with the Human Genome Project are serious and must be addressed.
Pressure groups are at advantage as they can bring pressure on politicians by emphasising things that should be done and publicising them which can sometimes get politicians to pass laws to deal with the issue.
A disadvantage is that when they have so much influence over certain politicians because of the way they can get them to pass certain bills or legislation which is not good.
D1: questions – Genetic testing and genetic conditioning
What is genetic counselling?
Genetic counselling is a service which offers advice and information about genetic conditions which are conditions that are caused by changes, also known as mutations, in certain genes and are normally passed down through a family. Genetic counselling is led by healthcare professionals known as genetic counsellors or clinical geneticists who have been specially trained in the science of human. These specialists work as members of a healthcare team and provide information and support to families who have members with birth defects or genetic disorders and also to families who may be at risk of a variety of inherited conditions.
What does a genetic counsellor do?
A genetic counsellor focuses on empowering patients with knowledge by educating individuals, families, and communities about inheritance, testing, management, prevention, resources and research in genetic counselling. Also, a genetic counsellor will explain family history and chances that a condition will occur or recur. Lastly, a genetic counsellor could counsel an individual or family to promote informed choices and adaptation to the risk or condition.
Who might need genetic counselling?
Individuals who have conditions which have been inherited genetically will normally be referred to a genetic counsellor by their GP or