The Legal, Ethical, and Social Implications of Genetic Screening
Genetic screening involves analyzing the genes to identify and detect any health-associated conditions. Genetic screening has enabled the detection of complex health conditions, which include mental disorders, which have been a challenge using the simple medical processes (McCance & Huether, 2015). Genetic screening has been widely integrated into the nursing practice with its use in medical screening of health conditions. The use of genetic screening on patients has some related implications on the patients, their families, and the community as well (McCance & Huether, 2015). Some of the ethical implications include the patient’s consent regarding the use of genetic screening. Patients should be involved in the health process of using genetic screening. Patients should have a choice in deciding on whether to use the test or not. Patients should also have the freedom to make decisions regarding their results and the next course of action (McCance ; Huether, 2015).
Genetic screening is an important process to patients and patients should have the right to control what tests to use and what decisions to follow the results. The issue of privacy and confidentiality of results should also be considered when using genetic screening, which is a social implication (McCance ; Huether, 2015). Results of a genetic screening may cause stigma if information about results leak to family or friends. Legal implications include protection concerns related to the third parties involved who may include insurers and employers (McCance ; Huether, 2015). Genetic screening may have results, which may lead to unfair treatment of patients, and there are concerns on what protective measures have been employed to protect the patients. Some of the legal issues include the healthcare providers providing adequate information about genetic testing on the patients before making a decision (McCance ; Huether, 2015).
This information includes the risks involved, the benefits, and what alternatives are available to the proposed intervention. Patients have also a right in knowing the use of their samples taken from them (McCance ; Huether, 2015). Nurses should educate the patients on genetic screening by providing information to the patients on the risks involved, privacy regulations, and their participation in the process (McCance ; Huether, 2015). Any implications associated with a particular test should also be considered and how to manage these implications. Patients should be able to make informed decisions relating to genetic screening independently. All options should be availed to the patients, any concerns by the patient must be carefully considered, and the process on how the results will be analyzed (McCance ; Huether, 2015).
McCance, K. L., ; Huether, S. E. (2015). Pathophysiology: The biologic basis for disease in adults and children. St. Louis: Mosby.