This study addresses the most controversial applications of modern biotechnology – gene analysis.
At present it is only used to examine a few rare hereditary diseases and as a genetic tool in family planning consultancy. As the possibilities offered by gene technology are only being exploited to a limited extent, there are few problems at present. The situation would quickly change if screening tests were carried out routinely, as this would inevitably cause capacity and quality problems for consultants. Difficulties would arise if the techniques were to progress to an extent that common diseases and behavioural characteristics could be recognised on the basis of genetic structure. This would raise complex and in some cases unresolvable questions concerning the use to which this information might be put by employers, insurance companies, etc. It might also change society's attitude to the disabled or even give rise to a resurgence of eugenistic tendencies.