The human genome project is a project that is meant to benefit all of mankind. I am positive that the pioneers of this project had nothing but good intentions when they began this work. They aimed to sequence the entire genome in order to estimate the number of genes present in man, uncover the variation present between humans and other species, as well as understand the genomic organization. However, this project has its disadvantages as there are unscrupulous parties who use this hard-earned information for their own well-being. Thankfully, one still has a choice when it comes to genome sequencing. I, for one, would not want my genome sequenced.
Gene sequencing is gaining popularity in the medical field as it can determine the genes associated with disease. Several genes that are associated with diseases such as breast cancer, deafness, diabetes and cardiovascular disease have already been pinpointed. This discovery enables the research and development of new effective therapies. However, this discovery has its setback as this information can be used against the individual carrying that gene. Insurance companies may opt not to accept the individual for a certain insurance plan; or if accepted, the individual may have to pay a higher premium. I would not want my genome sequenced as I would not want the information used against me.
Another reason gene sequencing has a high impact on society is because it has the potential to predict the traits of an individual, especially an unborn baby. Information can be gathered from parents and used to determine the possible set of genes that their future child might possess. This is usually done to ensure the health of the baby, as well as its physical characteristics. Unfortunately, too much information can be a bad thing. In the case where a baby is conceived and the genome of the baby is sequenced, the chances of abortion should the genome reveal ‘bad genes’ is high. For example, a baby can be aborted just because its genome reveals that he or she carries a gene which shows that he/she might be capable of violent behavior. I would not want my genome sequenced as I do not want to take life for granted and abort a baby just because of a ‘bad gene’.
Lastly, I would not want my gene sequenced because I do not want to live constantly on my toes. An individual who knows that he or she has the risk of contracting a certain disease will live in constant fear. Eating habits, working habits, and the lifestyle of that individual will be changed because he or she would want to prevent the disease from occurring. This will result in a stress-filled life and uneasy days. It is in circumstances such as these that the old saying rings true: ignorance is bliss.
In conclusion, the sequencing of one’s genome has its fair share of pros and cons. However, it is important to note that whether or not the human genome project benefits society depends on how and what we use it for. Therefore, it is essential that everyone in the science field is educated on the proper usage of the human genome; as the main aim of this project is to make life better, not worse, for the human race.