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Public Overwhelmingly Supportive of Genetic Science and its Use for a Wide Variety of Medical, Law Enforcement and Personal Purposes

In Uncategorized on September 5, 2006 at 10:25 pm

Most U.S. adults are opposed to its use by employers and insurers

ROCHESTER, N.Y., Aug. 30 /PRNewswire/ — According to a new Wall Street
Journal Online/Harris Interactive Healthcare Poll, the public is almost
unanimous in its opinions on the science of genetics and the use of DNA.
While only five percent of all adults have ever had a genetic test to study
their DNA, the vast majority of U.S. adults (93%) feel that genetic science
is a good thing, and few (only 1%) feel it is a bad thing. Furthermore,
most adults are supportive of using genetic information for purposes such
as to identify criminals (93%) and to treat disease (87%).
These are some of the results of a Harris Interactive(R) online survey
of 3,091 U.S. adults, conducted between August 10 and 14, 2006 for The Wall
Street Journal Online’s Health Industry Edition (http://www.wsj.com/health).
The vast majority of adults strongly or somewhat support the use of
genetic information for:
— Identifying criminals in rape, murder and other crimes (93%)
— Establishing paternity (whether a man is or is not the father of a
child) (92%)
— Research by scientists to find new ways to prevent or treat diseases
(91%)
— Genetic testing by doctors to identify diseases for which people are
at risk (88%)
— Genetic therapy to treat people who have, or are likely to get, a
particular disease (87%)
— Tracing one’s family tree and ancestors (85%)
— Screening potential parents for inherited diseases or genetic
weaknesses at fertility clinics (72%)
On the other hand, when it comes to issues that could affect their jobs
or insurance coverage and costs, adults do not want DNA science to play a
role. Approximately four out of five adults strongly or somewhat oppose the
use of genetic information by:
— Employers to help decide whether to employ somebody (81%)
— Life insurance companies to determine who to insure or how much to
charge (80%)
— Health insurance companies to determine who to insure and how much to
charge (80%)
Link to full article

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