Would You Want To Know How You Could Die?
Genetic testing could potentially predict how and when you’ll die, but would you want to know?
Genetic testing is currently able to test if an individual carries the gene that could lead to diseases such as Motor Neurone Disease and some cancers.
The technology is becoming so advanced that it’s now able to predict when some conditions might take hold.
According to the ABC, 25-year-old Kaitlyn Ellis, and her older sister Jessica were told they had a 99 per cent chance of developing Motor Neurone Disease. MND tragically took their mother’s life in 2017.
“I thought my life was over. It feels like you’ve just been delivered a death sentence,” said Kaitlyn.
It may seem like a futile endeavour, since there’s no cure for MND, but Kaitlyn and her sister are able to have the gene removed so it doesn’t get passed onto their children. This is only possible if they have children using IVF.
Ashley Crook is a genetic counselor for Kaitlyn and Jessica. Her job is to help her clients cope with the new genetic information.
She said, “Even though there’s no medical benefit in knowing… knowing helps them to change their life plan…”
There are also some other benefits to receiving genetic testing. A senior lecturer in pharmacy at the University of South Australia, Vijay Suppiah, says testing is an effective way to determine if a drug will be safe and effective. People’s genetic makeup can alter how a drug effects your body.
So there can be some benefits to receiving genetic testing, even if it may seem like quite a confronting endeavour.