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Discussion and examples of the following are presented:
STRATEGIES: Students will learn by role-playing. The unit consists of four situations in which the students may become involved in determining the outcome of issues which are based on genetics. These four situations are:
- 1. Is it fair to raise or lower people’s hopes?
- 2. Is it ethical to change the germ cell line?
- 3. Are we releasing genes unwittingly into the environment?
- 4. Are we rushing to judgement before we fully understand the implications of what we have discovered?
- 5. Are we violating an individual’s legal rights as well as their right-to-know and their right to privacy/confidentiality?
Backgrounds and additional information are provided to assist in role-playing. Directions are given for setting up situations and some information is given for preparing for roles the students assume.
- 1. A suit brought by a couple against a physician because they were not given proper genetic counseling and subsequently had a child with Down’s syndrome.
- 2. A thirty year old person fired from her job because her genetic profile, which showed that she was carrying the gene for Huntington disease, became available to her employer.
- 3. A young woman is found to be carrying the BRCA 1 gene. Her request for payment for a prophylactic mastectomy is rejected by her insurance company. Shortly after she is fired and her medical insurance is terminated.
- 4. A proposed law in 2010 requires sterilization of anyone whose IQ score is less than 70.
(Recommended for General Biology/Genetics, grades 9-12; and Genetics Bioengineering, grades 10-12)