Scientific advancement or invasion of privacy?

On the Talk last week, Sharon Osbourne talked about a new medical test which gave all the possible issues with a person medically.  It will give an indicator of whether you will have cancer, diabetes, mental illness, and so on.  She was raving about how her husband and herself had the test done and they were promoting it.  My first question is who will that information be released to?  If it is going to the insurance companies are they going to be able to deny coverage because this test shows something negative?  Will the individual be denied admittance to schools or jobs because it shows the individual isn’t at the intelligence level required? 

I think science is fabulous and has had some amazing advancements but this is one where I think we are opening a can of worms.  I think it puts us one step forward into a situation where people will have this test done and be discriminated against because of the results. 

Did anyone know that all babies DNA is taken and put into a national database?  This has been done since the mid-1980s.  Now I have three girls born in that era and I have no idea whether their information is included in that database but I sure wasn’t asked if I wanted it done.  I don’t believe it is even told to parents that some of the blood taken from their newborn is going to that.  It might be useful to have that information in a database but my question is – how protected is the information?  Who is watching out for the privacy of these children? 

Science is great but how are we protecting our privacy and our rights with each advancement?  I’d rather be proactive about it than reactive…

2 thoughts on “Scientific advancement or invasion of privacy?

  1. I have worked as an L&D and newborn nursery RN since the beginning of the 80's. The only blood we took was for the PKU tests that we stuck their heals for. The tests also checks for several other diseases that can lead to mental retardation if not discovered at birth. To my knowledge, those are the only standard blood tests taken. We had to document every time a child was stuck and what it was for. That is just how healthcare is done, as if it was going to be examined in court because you never knew when it was going to be. I think it's doubtful that anyone has your daughter's DNA. You know I would be the first one screaming about it if I thought for a moment that someone was gathering that kind of information.

  2. My daughter took a privacy class and in there she was told that the heel prick goes into a database that is kept. I'll have to ask her who is keeping it – I believe the government is. My question is who has access to the information? How is this affecting what they get for insurance and jobs and so on…

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