GENTECH archive 8.96-97


Compulsory Genetic Screeining

 I'm a year 10 student of Litcham High School (Norfolk, England). I was
given the task of writing an Arguement essay on the subject of my choice. I
chose to argue FOR compulsory genetic screening. I would be greatful for any
input on what I've written, wether you agree, or disagree. Thanks!              


             Is Compulsory Genetic Screening A Benefit Or A Menace To Mankind?

	Genetic screening has already been a great benefit to man in so much as
pilot testing has already identified a gene that, if you smoke, will cause
your chance of contracting lung cancer a certain. There are many other
research and pilot testing going on all over the world making great medical
break throughs, all benefits to mans constant battle against illness and
death. So with all the benefits that only pilot testing has made why not
take the next step and make genetic screening compulsory?
	Some people believe that the concept of using genetics in medicine, in
transgenic animals for transplant, even in the culture and modification of
bacteria to act as biological agents in industry and agriculture to be
abhorrent. However with the leaps that the science of genetics has taken
over the last 10 years and the benefits it has reaped for man how can
genetics be a menace. For example the genetic screening of cereal crops now
has resulted in crops that have a much higher yield, feeding more people.
This is a definite benefit to man so just imagine what the benefits would be
with compulsory screening in humans:- No disease, prolonged life, greater
adaptability to extreme climates/terrain, all could be possible with
compulsory genetic screening and the research data this would generate.
	With compulsory genetic screening you would know if you are a carrier of
genetic diseases such as Cystic fibrosis or Huntington's disease. By knowing
both your own and your partners genetic code, when you decide to propagate
the species, you could avoid or correct any gene combinations that would
cause these often fatal diseases. Although research is going into these
areas there is not enough data being generated so compulsory screening could
give scientists the data they need to find the cure!	

Chris Towell