Gene testing

Jan Oosting J.Oosting at Farmaco.RULimburg.NL
Sat Feb 26 14:14:57 EST 1994


In article <1994Feb26.161708.30045 at iitmax.iit.edu> garfinkl at iitmax.iit.edu (Mark D. Garfinkel) writes:
>In article <940225161639834 at bbs.puc.edu>
>yolanda.gurrola at bbs.puc.edu (Yolanda Gurrola) writes:

>>But the insurace company has no right in my opinion to
>>know about the medical problem involved with the person or the family.
>>For years insurace agencies have been hiking up there prices on people
>>for every little thing.
>        What is the purpose of health insurance to *you*? You pay
>premiums now in exchange for medical care at some future time. What
>is the purpose of the *health insurance company*? To offer a service
>*at a profit.* Of course the health insurance company has a right to
>know about your medical condition now; it provides them *necessary*
>information that helps predict how much medical care you will need in
>the future. The cost of health care provided must, when summed over a
>population, be equal to or less than the value of the premiums collected
>from that population, or the company will go out of business.

I see Insurance as a kind of betting. (a 1000:1 on me to get in the hospital)
No insurance company will take this bet when I am already in the ambulance 
after a heart attack. So I think the Insurance company has a valid right to 
know my physical condition.
But I do think that insurance companies have a social function too. The 
prices for insurance should be leveled off to the middle. People with a poor 
medical condition should get better bets than calculated for their risk 
factors and people with good health should pay more than they ought to on 
basis of health statistics 

>        As for DNA testing, think of it this way: It's a method that
>may allow you & your doctor to identify a disease, or risk of getting
>a disease *prior* to the onset of symptoms. More knowledge = better
>treatment, including preventive care. If a person has high blood
>pressure or elevated serum cholesterol, he may have no external
>symptoms now, but might suffer a heart attack & die later. He &
>his doctor do the tests, identify the problem & *do* something about
>it. Suppose the person has a "bad gene" that makes it easier for the
>cholesterol to go out of whack... then it becomes *even more
>important* that the patient learn how to eat healthier foods &
>exercise, etc., to reduce the heart disease risk & live longer.

At the moment DNA testing gives only little detailed information about 
someones health risks because only few diseases can be detected nowadays.
This disfavours people with these bad genes compared to people with bad 
genes that can not be detected at present  

>Mark

Jan



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