Re: SOC/MED: Washington Post article calling for "Genome Commission"

Date: Mon Jul 10 2000 - 11:48:11 MDT

Greg Burch writes:
> All the fanfare about completing the map of the human genome has now had the
> inevitable response of calling forth voices demanding regulation. We need to
> be prepared for one possible scenario in which there is a politically-driven
> governmental rush to regulate, with each candidate and jurisdiction trying to
> out-do the other in proclaiming that it has "taken steps" to cork the bottle
> holding the genetic genie. It is a presidential election year here in the
> States and this is an issue tailor-made for Al Gore's technocratic
> tendencies. I think there's a real chance that the political process will
> actually get AHEAD of the science and technology here:

I really can't see this going anywhere. No one is going to deny
themselves or their loved ones medical treatment for the abstract
philosophical reasons given in the article. Let my daughter die because
the third world can't afford gene therapy? No way.

The only plausible result will be legislation to prevent genetic
discrimination and preserve the privacy of genetic records. While this
violates free market principles, it is a tolerable infringement compared
to many other regulations.


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