Moderator: Arthur Miller, Professor, Harvard Law School
As scientific researchers work to uncover what specific genetic sequences of the human genome mean, the largest challenge may be the one facing us—how to live with this new genetic information. How much would you want to know? What choices would you make? Who would you want to have access to your personal genetic profile? Arthur Miller leads an intense but often humorous discussion that reveals the far-reaching implications of genetic testing. Should a man with a family history of cancer get tested for genetic markers that could indicate his risk for developing cancer? Will that knowledge add to or detract from his quality of life? What will happen if his insurance company finds out he is at risk? Is he obligated to tell his fiancée or family members, who may also be at risk? Should he be eligible to adopt a child? Does his employer have a right to know? Genetic testing can already reveal an increased risk for developing diseases like breast cancer and Alzheimer's and predict other diseases, like Huntington's. Most importantly, genetic science offers the hope of treatment, cures, and possible elimination of many illnesses. As individuals, how will we handle this rapidly increasing wealth of knowledge?
From ethical dilemmas that cut to the heart of personal relationships to practical consequences that can determine life choices, Who Gets to Know? offers a compelling discourse on the far-reaching ethical, social, legal, and economic implications of genetic testing. Reflecting on how genetic testing may affect her health insurance, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter says, "I really feel that this is the greatest science and the potential is so wonderful and so marvelous. I'm just afraid of the consequences."