Buy an essay: Business Ethics and Genetic testing

Today, the use of scientific advancements and latest technological developments in the workplace environment raise a number of ethical issues because technological innovations are introduced regardless of existing ethical and moral norms. In this respect, it is possible to refer to genetic testing as one of instances of technological innovations being introduced in the contemporary workplace environment. Some organizations introduce genetic testing in the workplace environment because they consider genetic testing a reliable tool that can protect them from the unsanctioned access to secret information and control thoroughly the access to restricted area. However, companies and organizations introducing genetic testing often ignore the fact that genetic testing can raise the public disapproval as well as the opposition from the part of employees, which may be unwilling to pass genetic testing because of their religious beliefs or moral values.
In actuality, genetic testing in the workplace is applied to reveal potential problems employees may have in the workplace and while performing their professional duties. As a rule, gene testing is applied to employees, which work in a hazardous environment and which need to have excellent health and good physical conditions. The main point of gene testing is revelation of negative hereditary trends, such as possible mental health problems, for instance. At the same time, modern genetics stands on the ground that it is possible to interpret traits of character of an individual on the ground of gene testing, although specialists (Cunningham and Cunningham, 2006) keep arguing on this issue. However, if this point were proven, this would expand the scope of application of gene testing consistently. In such a situation, the question concerning the ethical background of using gene testing arises because it is obvious that gene testing refers to the study of genetic code of individuals and revelation of their heredity that may be viewed as the violation of their right to privacy. In such a context, gene testing may be compared to the study of health records of employees by their employers, which is apparently the violation of employees’ right to privacy.
On the other hand, from the utilitarian standpoint, gene testing may be justified. In fact, gene testing being conducted in organizations providing public transportation services, such as Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Co., may help employers to identify employees that may have substantial health problems, inherited by them from ancestors. Obviously, if professionals working in a railroad company has substantial health problems, he or she will expose a large number of people to serious risk because any accidents in railroad system is a threat to the public safety. Therefore, gene testing can help potentially dangerous employees.
In such a way, genetic testing increases security of organizations because genetic testing helps to identify employees that match the best employers’ requirements and which can maintain the safe organizational performance. Naturally, genetic testing may be harmful for an individual but it may be good for an organization the individual is working in. From the utilitarian perspective, this argument is enough to introduce genetic testing because the well-being of the majority outweighs the well-being of an individual. To put it in simple words, it is possible to refer to the example of a railroad company. If a railroad company conducts gene testing and reveals the high risk of mental health problems in an applicant, who does not have mental health problems in the moment, the company can refuse to employ the applicant. In such a way, the company will secure people from a possible accident, if the applicant develops some mental health problems. Therefore, this decision will be beneficial for the company, its employees and public. On the other hand, this decision will leave an applicant unemployed and that may be a disaster for him or her. But, from the utilitarian perspective, the good of the majority is the primary concern. Consequently, gene testing is worth applying from the utilitarian standpoint.

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