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Old 11th March 2017, 07:29 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
Actually the message of that film is that genetics isn't everything, a human being is more than the sum of their DNA.
You're not supposed to tell him that.
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Old 11th March 2017, 07:36 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
That's what I meant

Then you are a supporter of Eugenics. I suggest you watch the movie GATTACA, it'd likely be your version of a Utopia.
You presented an abstract, unrealistic thought experiment. I answered. When the conditions necessary for your thought experiment to be realized emerge, then I will be a supporter of Eugenics, but not really, since I wouldn't take away parental authority to "do it old school."

On the subject of customizing your baby, I'm pro-choice. To be otherwise would be to insist someone carry their Zika baby to term, wouldn't it? What's the opposite of eugenics?

In any case, I'd like to hear the argument why employers shouldn't be allowed to hire the best person for a job. Is this a version of a socialist Utopia? "Everyone gets the job they want at a wage they like."
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Old 11th March 2017, 07:41 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
Actually the message of that film is that genetics isn't everything, a human being is more than the sum of their DNA.
Indeed, but the only reason an employer might want DNA is for those cases where it tells us something relevant. We could say the same about any pre-employment metric/screening.

For example, suppose I do not wish to hire smokers. Should I have the right/ability to exclude them? What if I want a blood test to verify what they say?

There's nothing special about DNA that makes it "hands off" - unless we capriciously deem it so. In fact, I don't think it's illegal to get someone's DNA (maybe you discarded your soda straw in the lunch room), send it off for analysis and *presto* you got the goods.
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Old 11th March 2017, 07:50 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
You mean like aborting female children if you think a male child will do better? I suppose it's up to the parents, but if they did such a thing I'd think their logic a bit flawed.
That depends on the norms of that culture.

Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Throwing "genetics" into the mix is a red herring.
Uh - weren't you the one who threw it in? I could be wrong.

Originally Posted by marplots View Post
If employers can hire workers based on their abilities/talents then any reliable/factual information along those lines should be equivalent. Test scores, previous job performance... whatever. I can't see why genetic information - to the extent it is accurate - should be treated any differently.
In the very top end of elite professions - like NBA players - genetics are huge. The interplay of genes and environment makes outcomes a lot less predictable than you seem to think, though. Fifty percent of Luke Walton's genes came from Bill Walton, but he turned out to be injury prone and more suited to coaching.

Employers don't necessarily want the best employee for the job - they want the most convenient, or the youngest, or the man, or the woman, or the most pliable, or the most aggressive. It's not meant to be a lifetime contract, not these days, anyway. Why voluntarily fork over any information that could work against you? I just don't see it.

Chinese couples can manufacture anchor babies in the U.S. with donor sperm, donor egg and surrogate carrier. Harvard graduates are in demand as donors. Who knows if such spawn will turn out to be the best adapted to future conditions.

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Old 11th March 2017, 08:01 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Uh - weren't you the one who threw it in? I could be wrong.
No, it wasn't me. It came in by way of employers wanting data in the context of rewarding good health decisions. Someone linked an article and connected it to ACA2.0.

Quote:
Employers don't necessarily want the best employee for the job - they want the most convenient, or the youngest, or the man, or the woman, or the most pliable, or the most aggressive. It's not meant to be a lifetime contract, not these days, anyway. Why voluntarily fork over any information that could work against you? I just don't see it.
We do it now because of competition for employment. If I have the "good version" of whatever stat it is - DNA, college grades, awards, whatever - I want to let the employer have the info to gain a leg up on others who are applying for the job.
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Old 11th March 2017, 08:03 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
You presented an abstract, unrealistic thought experiment. I answered. When the conditions necessary for your thought experiment to be realized emerge, then I will be a supporter of Eugenics, but not really, since I wouldn't take away parental authority to "do it old school."

On the subject of customizing your baby, I'm pro-choice. To be otherwise would be to insist someone carry their Zika baby to term, wouldn't it? What's the opposite of eugenics?

In any case, I'd like to hear the argument why employers shouldn't be allowed to hire the best person for a job. Is this a version of a socialist Utopia? "Everyone gets the job they want at a wage they like."
Except that the road you want to walk doesn't just lead to not having a Zika affected kid. If employers start basing jobs on people's DNA, then it is only logical for a Parent to give their kids the best DNA that the parent can afford to so they can have the best possible chance at getting the perfect Job. In time you'll have the rich who are all Genetically engineered and hold the highest positions in the workforce, and then you'll have the natural born, those who were accidents and not aborted or whose parents simply couldn't afford to get the genetic engineering done. Those naturals will never have a hope of getting a good job because they are born unqualified by their very DNA.

Worse, as specific DNA is picked out as the best by employers, then everyone will be wanting their kids to have that DNA, which will lead to a lessening of the Genetic diversity in our species, something that could cause serve damage to the gene pool.

It also robs kids of choice. They are genetically designed to be perfect for a job that their parent's picked out for them, this takes away all choices for them because their profile will be best only with the employers of that specific job. What a life, destined to be whatever it was your parents decided for you before you were even conceived!

Is this really the type of future you want for Society?
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Old 11th March 2017, 08:21 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
Except that the road you want to walk doesn't just lead to not having a Zika affected kid. If employers start basing jobs on people's DNA, then it is only logical for a Parent to give their kids the best DNA that the parent can afford to so they can have the best possible chance at getting the perfect Job. In time you'll have the rich who are all Genetically engineered and hold the highest positions in the workforce, and then you'll have the natural born, those who were accidents and not aborted or whose parents simply couldn't afford to get the genetic engineering done. Those naturals will never have a hope of getting a good job because they are born unqualified by their very DNA.

Worse, as specific DNA is picked out as the best by employers, then everyone will be wanting their kids to have that DNA, which will lead to a lessening of the Genetic diversity in our species, something that could cause serve damage to the gene pool.

It also robs kids of choice. They are genetically designed to be perfect for a job that their parent's picked out for them, this takes away all choices for them because their profile will be best only with the employers of that specific job. What a life, destined to be whatever it was your parents decided for you before you were even conceived!

Is this really the type of future you want for Society?
I think you missed a key ingredient. Part of being the best suited for a job is that I will enjoy doing it. The same motivation (parental wish for the well-being of their child) means everyone gets to live their dreams and reach their full potential. Is that a future you wish to avoid?

Perhaps this idea seems strange because of the science fiction element of reading the DNA tea leaves. But it's not so strange when we ask why parents are keen to teach their children to read or write or adopt the norms of their culture. Isn't a parent, who finances their child's education, doing exactly what you seem to fear so much - except, of course, in a rather blunt-clubbed way?

If I believe I am contributing to my child having a good and useful life, happy in their achievements and financially secure, what value do I then see in adding a random element, simply as a nod to some ideal about freedom being a good? To me, the diversity you laud makes as little sense as teaching my child Sanskrit or blinding them.
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Old 11th March 2017, 10:03 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
I think you missed a key ingredient. Part of being the best suited for a job is that I will enjoy doing it. The same motivation (parental wish for the well-being of their child) means everyone gets to live their dreams and reach their full potential. Is that a future you wish to avoid?

Perhaps this idea seems strange because of the science fiction element of reading the DNA tea leaves. But it's not so strange when we ask why parents are keen to teach their children to read or write or adopt the norms of their culture. Isn't a parent, who finances their child's education, doing exactly what you seem to fear so much - except, of course, in a rather blunt-clubbed way?

If I believe I am contributing to my child having a good and useful life, happy in their achievements and financially secure, what value do I then see in adding a random element, simply as a nod to some ideal about freedom being a good? To me, the diversity you laud makes as little sense as teaching my child Sanskrit or blinding them.
Not at all. When we teach our children and give them skills and an education we are giving them a wide variety of things to choose from for themselves. They get to learn what they like and what they don't. They get to decide how they want to apply those skills we have given to them for themselves. We don't train them to be a doctor or a pilot or a fireman from birth and disregard all other possibilities.

But that is exactly what you are supporting, and doing it in a way where it is not what the Child wants to do and loves doing, but what the parents decided and designed the child to do.

As employers get profiles for each job refined, parents will get their kids made to match that profile. For the Kids that have parents that can afford it, their profiles will match the Employers perfectly, creating a class of haves, and a class of have nots. And even if you are engineered, if the job you want isn't the one your profile matches, then you are put into the have not pile for that job. The only job choices you will have are those that your DNA profile matches.

You are taking away their choice and freedom and consigning them to a preplanned existence, or in the case of those that aren't engineered, a life of poverty.

As to teaching you kids Sanskrit, why not? It's still spoken as a first language by over fourteen thousand people!
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Old 11th March 2017, 10:15 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Indeed, but the only reason an employer might want DNA is for those cases where it tells us something relevant. We could say the same about any pre-employment metric/screening.
....
Still waiting for the actual science backing this up and not the imaginary version you seem to be posting about.
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Old 11th March 2017, 10:23 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
Not at all. When we teach our children and give them skills and an education we are giving them a wide variety of things to choose from for themselves. They get to learn what they like and what they don't. They get to decide how they want to apply those skills we have given to them for themselves. We don't train them to be a doctor or a pilot or a fireman from birth and disregard all other possibilities.

But that is exactly what you are supporting, and doing it in a way where it is not what the Child wants to do and loves doing, but what the parents decided and designed the child to do.

As employers get profiles for each job refined, parents will get their kids made to match that profile. For the Kids that have parents that can afford it, their profiles will match the Employers perfectly, creating a class of haves, and a class of have nots. And even if you are engineered, if the job you want isn't the one your profile matches, then you are put into the have not pile for that job. The only job choices you will have are those that your DNA profile matches.

You are taking away their choice and freedom and consigning them to a preplanned existence, or in the case of those that aren't engineered, a life of poverty.
I don't think DNA really works like that. It would be more like making sure they didn't have any known defects - things like good vision, musculature, high intelligence - the sort of things that would enhance many different career paths.

To the extent options were available to parents, and if they had the means, then I would expect them to use those options. Where we seem to part ways is in the benefits for the child. I'll concede it is likely to be a mixed bag. It is now - is having a tiger mom who trains a child from infancy to play the piano good or bad for the child? I don't know. Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

I think what interests me more is the knee-jerk rejection of the idea, like a taboo or appeal to tradition. On the face of it, choosing your offspring's DNA doesn't sound like a loser idea to me.

I think if you asked people whether it would be morally good to correct genetic errors if you could do it without harming the baby, would they? I think they'd say yes. What parent wants their child to have a genetic flaw?

The question then becomes how far do you go and what constitutes a defect? I disagree that the answer ends up with a one-size-fits-all clone of Charlie Sheen.

Now I'm wondering what sperm banks do. Do they screen in a way that supports the future you suggest or the one I do (or some mix)?

Just grabbing something off the net:
"Sperm Donor Testing: No Sperm Bank Does More Testing

The screening process is intentionally designed to be rigorous and exclude any donor who does not meet every one of our high standards. Only 1% of donor applicants are accepted by Fairfax Cryobank. This long screening process involves an extensive health questionnaire; physical exam; medical, genetic and infectious disease testing; a thorough sperm quality evaluation and several in-person interviews with our staff. Repeated physical exams and infectious disease testing are ongoing while donors are active."
https://fairfaxcryobank.com/donor-screening

Looks like the future is already here.

ETA: Asked mods for a thread split because of topic drift.

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Old 11th March 2017, 10:37 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
I don't think DNA really works like that. It would be more like making sure they didn't have any known defects - things like good vision, musculature, high intelligence - the sort of things that would enhance many different career paths. ....
So you believe we have these genetic tests?

Been reading too much sci-fi maybe?
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Old 11th March 2017, 10:44 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
So you believe we have these genetic tests?

Been reading too much sci-fi maybe?
Help me out with your expertise. What genetic tests do we have right now that might cause parents to decide to abort or a sperm bank to decide to flush a sample? Any at all?
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Old 11th March 2017, 10:51 PM   #53
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It's like they saw the movie "Gattaca" and decided that is the kind of society we need to live in.
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Old 11th March 2017, 11:05 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Help me out with your expertise. What genetic tests do we have right now that might cause parents to decide to abort or a sperm bank to decide to flush a sample? Any at all?
I've not heard of genetic screening of sperm samples. Perhaps you can help us out on that one.

As for genetic screening, there are two types. One is testing parents and counseling them if they have a risk between them. So for example, if both parents have relatives with genetic diseases, testing might be done to determine if the parents together have the risk of said genetic diseases in their offspring.

The second place genetic testing is done is on the amniotic fluid during pregnancy. I had that done, because I was an older mother. I wanted to know if I was carrying a Down's Syndrome fetus because as a single parent (abandoned by my partner of 6 years) I did not feel equipped to care for a disabled child alone. More power to parents able to deal with that challenge, I was not.

Prenatal genetic screening currently can detect a list of genetic diseases. It is a limited list. Feel free to Goggle what is currently on the list. I can assure you nothing on that list matches anything you've posted about in your fanciful employers' screening list.

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Old 12th March 2017, 12:34 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Prenatal genetic screening currently can detect a list of genetic diseases. It is a limited list. Feel free to Goggle what is currently on the list. I can assure you nothing on that list matches anything you've posted about in your fanciful employers' screening list.
Good. Then I suppose you agree with me that pre-employment DNA testing represents no concerns for applicants? That was the original issue before it took the hypothetical, sci-fi bent.
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Old 12th March 2017, 01:12 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
You mean like with Down syndrome?

If bedwetting had merit as a job performance indicator, then it should be used.

It puzzles me why you would want to deny an employer the means to get the best employee for the job, or why you would think they'd exclude people on a whim when they absolutely want to hire the best employee for the job.
What about if the employer thinks that black staff in certain customer-facing roles damage their business because a proportion of their customers are racists?
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Old 12th March 2017, 02:15 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
What about if the employer thinks that black staff in certain customer-facing roles damage their business because a proportion of their customers are racists?
Is it true?
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Old 12th March 2017, 02:46 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Is it true?
I'm sure there are some people would would believe that.

Some potential customers are bigots, and so there probably could be a business case for playing to the bigot market. It might be a bit niche, and a smaller market than the anti-bigot market, but on the plus side, the mere fact that it is a smaller market means that the larger businesses couldn't serve it without losing more customers elsewhere.
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Old 12th March 2017, 03:23 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Help me out with your expertise. What genetic tests do we have right now that might cause parents to decide to abort or a sperm bank to decide to flush a sample? Any at all?

Huntington's Disease comes to mind. It is a slow painful way to die which takes around 15 years, and generally doesn't express until the age range of 30 to 50 years. There is no cure.

It is significant to note that 9% of Huntington's fatalities are from suicide. That gives you an idea of what the prospects look like to its victims.

In general, if one parent carries the gene for it you have a 50% chance of developing the disease. If both parents are carriers the chances go up to 100%.

Predictive gene tests are available. This passage from the wiki article on Huntington's is perhaps of interest.
Quote:
Before 1993 there was not an available test for individuals to learn if they carried the Huntington's gene. At that time surveys indicated that 5070% of at-risk individuals would have been interested in receiving testing, but since predictive testing has been offered far fewer choose to be tested.[52] Over 95% of individuals at risk of inheriting HD do not proceed with testing, mostly because there is no treatment.[24] A key issue is the anxiety an individual experiences about not knowing whether they will eventually develop HD, compared to the impact of a positive result
.
Do you think that positive results for such a test might cause parents to decide to abort or a sperm bank to decide to flush a sample?

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I've not heard of genetic screening of sperm samples. Perhaps you can help us out on that one.

As for genetic screening, there are two types. One is testing parents and counseling them if they have a risk between them. So for example, if both parents have relatives with genetic diseases, testing might be done to determine if the parents together have the risk of said genetic diseases in their offspring.

The second place genetic testing is done is on the amniotic fluid during pregnancy. I had that done, because I was an older mother. I wanted to know if I was carrying a Down's Syndrome fetus because as a single parent (abandoned by my partner of 6 years) I did not feel equipped to care for a disabled child alone. More power to parents able to deal with that challenge, I was not.

Prenatal genetic screening currently can detect a list of genetic diseases. It is a limited list. Feel free to Goggle what is currently on the list. I can assure you nothing on that list matches anything you've posted about in your fanciful employers' screening list.
Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Good. Then I suppose you agree with me that pre-employment DNA testing represents no concerns for applicants? That was the original issue before it took the hypothetical, sci-fi bent.

If a young person entering into the workforce were to be tested and found positive for Huntington's do you think an employer might hesitate to see them added to the company's insurance plan? Or even to their workforce if they were to see the result of years of investment in training at risk?

If the odds of developing Huntington's for that prospective employee were only 50% how do you think that result would affect the applicant's chances when compared to an equally qualified but otherwise prospectively healthy one?

And having the results in hand, and eliminating that employee, should they tell them why?

The ethical issues surrounding such momentously negative test results are complex. There doesn't seem to be a real consensus as to whether such awareness is in the best interests of the patient, especially if they don't want to know.

And due to the late onset of symptoms, it is entirely possible for such a person to have one or both parents who are carriers and don't develop the disease at all or develop the disease after the age that the person would be entering the workforce.

This wouldn't just affect their chances of getting the job. It would impact their entire future.

Without their consent.
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Old 12th March 2017, 03:38 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Good. Then I suppose you agree with me that pre-employment DNA testing represents no concerns for applicants? That was the original issue before it took the hypothetical, sci-fi bent.
It does because you can test for marker which are not genetic disease but hint at risk of increased later disease in life.

You are comparing apple to orange.

BUT if a kid is nigh unemployable because every job will reject him due to his genetic makeup hint that he might be expansive to treat when older, then what chance has the kid in life ? Being homeless 60 years long and die in the gutter ?
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Old 12th March 2017, 03:41 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
Except that the road you want to walk doesn't just lead to not having a Zika affected kid. If employers start basing jobs on people's DNA, then it is only logical for a Parent to give their kids the best DNA that the parent can afford to so they can have the best possible chance at getting the perfect Job. In time you'll have the rich who are all Genetically engineered and hold the highest positions in the workforce, and then you'll have the natural born, those who were accidents and not aborted or whose parents simply couldn't afford to get the genetic engineering done. Those naturals will never have a hope of getting a good job because they are born unqualified by their very DNA.

Worse, as specific DNA is picked out as the best by employers, then everyone will be wanting their kids to have that DNA, which will lead to a lessening of the Genetic diversity in our species, something that could cause serve damage to the gene pool.

It also robs kids of choice. They are genetically designed to be perfect for a job that their parent's picked out for them, this takes away all choices for them because their profile will be best only with the employers of that specific job. What a life, destined to be whatever it was your parents decided for you before you were even conceived!

Is this really the type of future you want for Society?
"O brave new world that has such people in it".
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Old 12th March 2017, 03:43 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
Huntington's Disease comes to mind. It is a slow painful way to die which takes around 15 years, and generally doesn't express until the age range of 30 to 50 years. There is no cure.

It is significant to note that 9% of Huntington's fatalities are from suicide. That gives you an idea of what the prospects look like to its victims.

In general, if one parent carries the gene for it you have a 50% chance of developing the disease. If both parents are carriers the chances go up to 100%.

Predictive gene tests are available. This passage from the wiki article on Huntington's is perhaps of interest.
.
Do you think that positive results for such a test might cause parents to decide to abort or a sperm bank to decide to flush a sample?






If a young person entering into the workforce were to be tested and found positive for Huntington's do you think an employer might hesitate to see them added to the company's insurance plan? Or even to their workforce if they were to see the result of years of investment in training at risk?

If the odds of developing Huntington's for that prospective employee were only 50% how do you think that result would affect the applicant's chances when compared to an equally qualified but otherwise prospectively healthy one?

And having the results in hand, and eliminating that employee, should they tell them why?

The ethical issues surrounding such momentously negative test results are complex. There doesn't seem to be a real consensus as to whether such awareness is in the best interests of the patient, especially if they don't want to know.

And due to the late onset of symptoms, it is entirely possible for such a person to have one or both parents who are carriers and don't develop the disease at all or develop the disease after the age that the person would be entering the workforce.

This wouldn't just affect their chances of getting the job. It would impact their entire future.

Without their consent.
That is an extremely dramatic example that clarifies the terrain nicely. But you ended with, "Without their consent" and that wasn't part of the package at all.
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Old 12th March 2017, 03:48 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
That is an extremely dramatic example that clarifies the terrain nicely. But you ended with, "Without their consent" and that wasn't part of the package at all.
Once you bind consent to a monetary amount, or getting a job, it is akin to withdrawing consent.
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Old 12th March 2017, 03:50 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
It puzzles me why you would want to deny an employer the means to get the best employee for the job, or why you would think they'd exclude people on a whim when they absolutely want to hire the best employee for the job.
That word carries a lot of assumptions...or, maybe better, hides a lot of assumptions. Maybe the best employee to be hired is the daughter of the CEO, her actual qualifications can take the hindmost. We actually have this situation in the Federal government right now where hires are limited on the basis of their previous (non)support of the President.

If time is critical, maybe the best hire is someone whose pulse is above 30. For example, at Christmas time large department stores that offer wrapping will probably hire anyone who knows how to use scissors.

In short, I don't find your statement about "best" to be meaningful. When the word "absolutely" is added, I think you are making an unwarranted assumption.
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Old 12th March 2017, 03:57 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
We do it now because of competition for employment. If I have the "good version" of whatever stat it is - DNA, college grades, awards, whatever - I want to let the employer have the info to gain a leg up on others who are applying for the job.
I am sure you do - in the abstract. What if that very same data is used to reject your application? Especially if that rejection is based on data that is entirely irrelevant to the job. Bear in mind that you probably won't know if your DNA is a "good version" (your quotes).
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Old 12th March 2017, 04:12 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by Aepervius View Post
It does because you can test for marker which are not genetic disease but hint at risk of increased later disease in life.

You are comparing apple to orange.

BUT if a kid is nigh unemployable because every job will reject him due to his genetic makeup hint that he might be expansive to treat when older, then what chance has the kid in life ? Being homeless 60 years long and die in the gutter ?
That seems extreme but certainly a possibility. How does it work now for those who have impairments? If I am born blind, am I destined to being homeless for 60 years and dying in a gutter?

If you say that being blind is different, the difference must revolve around the ability to conceal the deficit, since we can suppose that congenital blindness is merely an obvious phenotype with a genetic basis. But the fact is that blind people can live worthwhile lives and are not doomed in the manner you envision.

All we are talking about with genetic testing is revealing a status that isn't visible to the naked eye - it is a real, factual characteristic of the person.

I've applied for jobs where they asked me to take a pre-employment drug test. I believe the companies wanted to prevent whatever costs and liabilities with increased risk if they hired addicts. I had to give consent or forego a chance at the job.

Now, suppose there were a suite of genetic markers for addiction propensity. How would it be different to test for those under the same rationale? If a positive test were not indicative of future risk of addiction, then there'd be no point in checking, just as there would be no point in administering a drug test if it didn't indicate a problem with drugs. But if the relationship held, then finding out would be of interest to employers, and rightly so.

All this presupposes there's a ready supply of labor, no union or societal forces pushing things along in the opposite direction, and the expectation of long-term employment (at least long enough for problems to arise).
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Old 12th March 2017, 04:19 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by SezMe View Post
I am sure you do - in the abstract. What if that very same data is used to reject your application? Especially if that rejection is based on data that is entirely irrelevant to the job. Bear in mind that you probably won't know if your DNA is a "good version" (your quotes).
I think you would know, and I am, in fact subject to a similar mechanism now. I have a felony conviction which serves as my own "mark of Cain." In practice, this means I have a barrier to entry to overcome - I need to accumulate enough positives to offset the negative.

Employers view a criminal history as indicating a higher future risk and all things being equal, it's enough to deny employment. I don't think I would be morally justified in concealing my background to avoid this, even when I believe I am the exception to the rule.
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Old 12th March 2017, 04:25 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by SezMe View Post
That word carries a lot of assumptions...or, maybe better, hides a lot of assumptions. Maybe the best employee to be hired is the daughter of the CEO, her actual qualifications can take the hindmost. We actually have this situation in the Federal government right now where hires are limited on the basis of their previous (non)support of the President.

If time is critical, maybe the best hire is someone whose pulse is above 30. For example, at Christmas time large department stores that offer wrapping will probably hire anyone who knows how to use scissors.

In short, I don't find your statement about "best" to be meaningful. When the word "absolutely" is added, I think you are making an unwarranted assumption.
Correct. I think the onus is on the employer to show relevance. If, as you say, the only real requirement for the job is knowing how to use scissors, the DNA testing doesn't make much sense.

The premise (if I recall correctly) was that employers who have to pay insurance costs would seek to limit future costs by trying to play the prediction market. If that's so, they have an incentive to get it right and figure out which characteristics (including DNA) are predictive statistically.

Situations (like UHC) where employers don't feel any healthcare burden wouldn't apply - unless there were some other incentive besides health revealed by DNA or other testing.
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Old 12th March 2017, 07:50 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
That is an extremely dramatic example that clarifies the terrain nicely. But you ended with, "Without their consent" and that wasn't part of the package at all.

The bill being proposed, as I understand, would allow for financial penalties if employees participating in a company wellness program refuse to consent to a DNA profiling.

Now, technically, I suppose, that isn't the same as without their consent. But since the bill provides for that consent to be under duress (threat of financial penalty), then I don't see much practical difference.

I have a suspicion that you do, though.
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Old 12th March 2017, 08:30 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
I think you would know, and I am, in fact subject to a similar mechanism now. I have a felony conviction which serves as my own "mark of Cain." In practice, this means I have a barrier to entry to overcome - I need to accumulate enough positives to offset the negative.

Employers view a criminal history as indicating a higher future risk and all things being equal, it's enough to deny employment. I don't think I would be morally justified in concealing my background to avoid this, even when I believe I am the exception to the rule.
A conviction is a thing you gained by your own actions though, committing a crime and getting caught., Judging people on their DNA is focusing on something that the person themselves had no control over. It is no different to looking at their skin colour
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Old 12th March 2017, 08:46 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
A conviction is a thing you gained by your own actions though, committing a crime and getting caught., Judging people on their DNA is focusing on something that the person themselves had no control over. It is no different to looking at their skin colour
That presumes people have control over anything. We're all just a collection of atoms obeying the laws of physics. Free will is just an illusion, so what's the point of making such meaningless distinctions?
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Old 12th March 2017, 08:51 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
A conviction is a thing you gained by your own actions though, committing a crime and getting caught., Judging people on their DNA is focusing on something that the person themselves had no control over. It is no different to looking at their skin colour
Employers should be allowed to consider your skin color.
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Old 12th March 2017, 10:07 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by sunmaster14 View Post
That presumes people have control over anything. We're all just a collection of atoms obeying the laws of physics. Free will is just an illusion, so what's the point of making such meaningless distinctions?
A collection of DNA is not free to retrain itself when presented with outside information. A collection of neurons is - given conducive conditions to determine that change is beneficial to itself.
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Old 12th March 2017, 03:14 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
The bill being proposed, as I understand, would allow for financial penalties if employees participating in a company wellness program refuse to consent to a DNA profiling.

Now, technically, I suppose, that isn't the same as without their consent. But since the bill provides for that consent to be under duress (threat of financial penalty), then I don't see much practical difference.

I have a suspicion that you do, though.
Of course I do. My life is full of incentives and consequences. That doesn't mean I don't feel as if I have options.

It's worth mentioning that the typical situation is not just negative consequences, but a selection from a menu of consequences, some more onerous than others, but all consequential.

Where we draw the lines determines the description. I can just as well say that having to go to work at all is coercion with "threat of financial penalty." And any financial incentive (paying you more if you stop smoking) is a penalty for those who choose not to do the behavior.

This is really about norms and taboos. We have lines drawn between our private and public lives. Health information is now largely on one side rather than the other. Except when it isn't.
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Old 12th March 2017, 03:20 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
A conviction is a thing you gained by your own actions though, committing a crime and getting caught., Judging people on their DNA is focusing on something that the person themselves had no control over. It is no different to looking at their skin colour
They are the same in the sense that both are unchangeable facts about me. Yes, my skin color, eye color, hair type and a hundred other things fall under the same category. They are factual characteristics of individuals. Some matter, some don't.

Consider your task as a casting director, looking at the specifications for various roles in a movie. Suddenly, characteristics that aren't relevant for many jobs emerge as essential discriminators. You aren't going to cast that 350-pound woman as the star pitcher on the fictitious professional baseball team. (Unless, of course, that's essential to the role, in which case you won't cast the athletic young man.)

Last edited by marplots; 12th March 2017 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 13th March 2017, 02:50 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Now, suppose there were a suite of genetic markers for addiction propensity. How would it be different to test for those under the same rationale? If a positive test were not indicative of future risk of addiction, then there'd be no point in checking, just as there would be no point in administering a drug test if it didn't indicate a problem with drugs. But if the relationship held, then finding out would be of interest to employers, and rightly so.
That's a good example; let's explore it. That word is critical. We can suppose that a genetic marker for addiction is correlated with addiction, not deterministic of it. So someone knows of this genetic marker and has conducted her/his life in such a way as to beat the odds. I'd sure hate for that person to lose a job because of the marker in light of the effort the person has taken to be clean.

I think most genetic markers are (will be?) like this, namely, they indicate potential, not actuality. That's were environment and a whole host of other factors come into play. But a marker has the potential to become all to close to a scarlet letter branded on one's forehead. Not good.
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Old 13th March 2017, 02:53 AM   #77
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Employers should be allowed to consider your skin color.
Notice how everyone ignores this stupid comment. That's what you've earned with your inane comments. I will now proceed to ignore the content as well.
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Old 13th March 2017, 03:41 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by SezMe View Post
That's a good example; let's explore it. That word is critical. We can suppose that a genetic marker for addiction is correlated with addiction, not deterministic of it. So someone knows of this genetic marker and has conducted her/his life in such a way as to beat the odds. I'd sure hate for that person to lose a job because of the marker in light of the effort the person has taken to be clean.

I think most genetic markers are (will be?) like this, namely, they indicate potential, not actuality. That's were environment and a whole host of other factors come into play. But a marker has the potential to become all to close to a scarlet letter branded on one's forehead. Not good.
The problem I see with your analysis is then: potential that is not actual destroys the very correlation we are interested in. The usefulness only rises to the extent that it is actualized in a population. The correlation is degraded as the exceptions mount.

But this is the norm with statistical analysis and policies, we find some predictive measure (X%) and make decisions based on that. Google is doing much the same thing when they decide to hire a graduate of MIT rather than Jimmy Joe's Community College. Google believes it is more probable to get a successful hire based on some probability. Do Jimmy Joe alums get screwed? Some might. But in the same manner, some MIT graduates get a boon they don't really deserve.

Last edited by marplots; 13th March 2017 at 03:42 AM.
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Old 13th March 2017, 04:15 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Good. Then I suppose you agree with me that pre-employment DNA testing represents no concerns for applicants? That was the original issue before it took the hypothetical, sci-fi bent.
Why do employers need their employees DNA tested?
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Old 13th March 2017, 04:34 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
Why do employers need their employees DNA tested?
"Need" doesn't sound like the right word but the premise was to screen for health issues, possibly to reduce company-paid insurance costs.
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